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Forced Vaccination: A Simple Question

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The Obama administration may be considering forced vaccination of children and adults in response to the possibility of a swine flu epidemic this fall.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been preparing public school superintendents for the possibility that their schools will be used by the government as inoculation centers for a nationwide swine flu vaccination program, which may include mandatory vaccination of public school students who are already required to receive several other government mandated vaccinations.

While there is a genuine threat of a swine flu pandemic, it does not justify the level of fear mongering being engaged in by the Obama Administration at a time which makes it look very much as if they are using this issue to advance their health care agenda. Although numbers like 90,000 deaths and 1.2 million hospitalizations from the CDC seem frightening, they fall within the parameters for the effects of the yearly outbreaks of other kinds of flu.

There is no legitimate reason for any program of forced mass vaccination, especially directed at school children and using state mandated public education requirements as a threat to force parents to comply. Mandatory vaccination programs are a violation of the constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy and personal security. It is especially important that the rights of children and the rights of their parents to make decisions about their welfare be protected.

Here in Texas we saw an attempt at forced vaccination when Governor Rick Perry tried to mandate that all teenage girls be given the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine at a cost of over $400 per vaccination to the taxpayers. Outrage over the huge tax cost of the program was exceeded only by anger over having this vaccine forced on teenagers. Protests were so effective that the program was ultimately killed.

Now we need to do the same, in this case, on a nationwide basis.

The issue of vaccination – in fact, the entire healthcare debate – comes down to one very simple question: Who should make the healthcare decisions for you and your family? Should it be you or should it be legislators or commissions of nameless and faceless government bureaucrats like those created by proposed healthcare legislation?

This issue is so important and so personal that giving up control to government is terrifying. As a result, we are seeing massive, nationwide grassroots protests against government-run healthcare because whatever the faults of the current system, people want to keep control and make their own health care decisions.

Vaccines are one of the great advancements of modern medicine and for the most part they are safe as well as important for protecting children and adults from real health threats. Nonetheless, it is still morally wrong for government to force any kind of choice like this on citizens against their will. Government should protect freedom of choice, not take it away.

The Republican Liberty Caucus is working to oppose both so-called healthcare reform and mandated vaccination programs. Citizens have the right to make their own health care decisions, including opting out of current school vaccination requirements and not being forced to comply with any future government inoculation program.

Citizens should be trusted to make responsible decisions about the health of their family members and the safety of the community. The role of the government should be to protect citizens and their rights, not to make medical decisions for them without their consent.

So I ask again, who do you want making your health care decisions?

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Where did you hear about this Dave (the mandatory vaccinations)? Seriously, I’m curious and would like to know what there is to it. I share your concerns if there is something to it. Not so much, if it’s based on rumor though. Do you have a link to a credible news report. If so, please share. Thanks.

    -Glen

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I originally wrote this article for appearance in print rather than online so I didn’t include any links.

    Now, note that I did not say that there were going to be mandatory flu vaccinations, only that they were considering it as a measure against a pandemic.

    In a number of states like Massachusetts they are rushing through mandatory vaccination laws.

    Ultimately it will be up to the individual states, acting on the recommendation of the CDC and Department of Health. But they have tried to make certain vaccinations mandatory in the past, so it’s reasonable to expect this as a next step.

    Other countries are also planning mass, forced vaccinations this fall.

    But the article is about the principle of health care choice more than any specific plan.

    Dave

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    That’s what I thought. Thanks Dave.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Poolside chat, Dave?

    You running for dog-catcher? I watched the video and you need some work – clarity of articulation, stuff like that. You’re not quite up to FDR quality yet there, Mr. Nalle.

    I won’t waste time on the issue itself – you’re raising alarums over a hypothetical mandatory vaccine for a flu epidemic that is presently killing 68 out of 10,000 people infected. At present, that is an embarrassingly small number for a pandemic. Mandatory vaccinations for such a problem is a hard sell, and the Blessed of Hussein is having sales problems lately in your country – even with the help of a compliant media.

    Of course, that number may change – ratcheting upwards – and if it does, the issue of fear for one’s life will overcome the intelligent objections of virologists to using the wrong drugs.

    And truth be told, you have missed that issue entirely in your er poolside chat.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    No legitimate reason?

    How about nearly 3 million dead Americans?

    Is that hyperbole? Probably…but when the H1N1 flu last struck in 1918, it killed nearly one million Americans at a time when our nation’s population was only one-third what it is now…and most modern estimates hold that the flu killed 50 million people worldwide, most of which died in a span of four or five months.

    Chances are that the H1N1 will not mutate as it did in 1918…but with every single person it infects, the flu gets another chance to mutate – and that’s what all influenza virii do – they mutate. But chances are it won’t happen this time like it did last time.

    So that’s the real question, Dave – which do you hold more precious? The combination of your perceived freedoms and “chances are”? Or greatly-heightened protection against what killed more human beings in a shorter period of time in all of human history?

    Which is your choice?

  • http://www.fontcraft.com Dave Nalle

    You running for dog-catcher? I watched the video and you need some work – clarity of articulation, stuff like that. You’re not quite up to FDR quality yet there, Mr. Nalle.

    I do the best I can, Ruvy. At least we’ve improved the quality of the video. I never pretended to be FDR. There’s a reason why my main form of expression is written. But I do think that my peculiar speaking style will grow on you. It’s at least memorable.

    No legitimate reason?

    How about nearly 3 million dead Americans?

    Reall, Glenn? Where? Even the CDC’s most extreme estimates are at half that number for hospitalization and their death estimates don’t even hit 100,000.

    Is that hyperbole? Probably…but when the H1N1 flu last struck in 1918, it killed nearly one million Americans at a time when our nation’s population was only one-third what it is now…and most modern estimates hold that the flu killed 50 million people worldwide, most of which died in a span of four or five months.

    Glenn, you should know better. The death total was high because of social conditions, not because of the virus itself. With more poor people living closer together in urban areas with no real access to medical care the virus spread faster and was more lethal than would ever be the case today.

    Today, with better medicines, lots more access to medical facilities and a more prosperous society which will allow family members to stay home and care for other family members the threat is nothing like it was in 1918.

    Chances are that the H1N1 will not mutate as it did in 1918…but with every single person it infects, the flu gets another chance to mutate – and that’s what all influenza virii do – they mutate. But chances are it won’t happen this time like it did last time.

    And if it DOES mutate then the vaccine likely won’t work against it anyway, so what’s your point again?

    In addition, there is no way they can implement mandatory vaccination and get the vaccine distributed widely enough before an outbreak happens. The virus is already in circulation. They would have to implement nationwide martial law to really make a forced immunization program work.

    The facts are clear. The h1n1 virus is no more fatal than other strains of flu, responds very well to antivirals and there’s no reason to blow it out of proportion.

    Are you aware that we had an actual flu epidemic LAST year? It’s true. Last year’s flu broke the threshold to be classified as an epidemic early in the summer and remained there into the fall. Where was the panic? Where were the radical immunization plans? As many as 50,000 may have died (the CDC still doesn’t have a proper count). This year flu has not broken that epidemic threshold within the US yet, so why are we panicking?

    So that’s the real question, Dave – which do you hold more precious? The combination of your perceived freedoms and “chances are”? Or greatly-heightened protection against what killed more human beings in a shorter period of time in all of human history?

    Freedom, of course. Especially when the risk of death by all estimates is within the reasonable variation from the parameters for flu outbreaks which take place every year.

    Which is your choice?

    My choice is to ask why the administration is promoting unreasoning panic to an unproven and improbable threat.

    As I’m sure you noticed in the article I did not suggest people avoid vaccination. Hell, I even got my daughter an HPV vaccination. But the point is that there is no justification for extreme measures here. Normal precautions and voluntary vaccination ought to be sufficient, so why start trampling peoples rights?

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Normal precautions and voluntary vaccination ought to be sufficient, so why start trampling peoples rights?

    To ratchet the government’s control of the population up another notch?

  • Clavos

    Sorry, I forgot for a moment that all those highly educated folks in the government and at the CDC know better than we do what’s good for us ignorant peasants; especially those of us here in the backward South.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That’s not so far-fetched, Glen Contrarian, as you would have us believe. The ways that the government is already controlling the individual and the social body via surveillance and any number of seemingly benign institutions like the hospital, the prison, the barracks, are mind boggling. Read some Foucault to get a better feel. It’s a far more surreal world than most of us suspect.

    Regarding comment #1, Glen Boyd, Cindy posted a link to a video. I’ll post it as soon as I find it.

  • Baronius

    This issue is a tough one for me. Libertarianism isn’t a suicide pact. I don’t know which side of the line this falls on.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Of course, of COURSE, it’s all hyperbole, and the sky is falling!

    As I stated earlier, chances are that the virus won’t mutate as it did in 1918 – but what Dave isn’t grokking is that it only takes a very small mutation…and even with that mutation a vaccine is still quite likely to be completely effective.

    YES, the world is FAR more capable when it comes to medical care than in 1918…but you know what? We still haven’t found a cure for the flu. Tamiflu and the other drugs help the body resist the flu, but there’s no cure…and if the H1N1 were to mutate as it did in 1918, the most effective treatment (after receiving Tamiflu IF available) is rest and lots of fluids…just like in 1918.

    Another thing the conservatives here refuse to consider is that not only has our world population tripled since 1918, but our population is also FAR more mobile than before. H1N1 can be in China one day, and in America, Europe, South America, and Africa the next.

    Am I panicking? No, because all that can be done is to take the vaccine as so as it’s available, know what to do if one is stricken by the virus, and to be prepared for the social disorder that can easily happen when 25% or more (the CDC DID say up to 50%) of the nation’s population contract H1N1.

    In all likelihood, NONE of this will happen…but I will not risk my family’s lives in case it does.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Well that’s all fine, Glenn. I’ll get my family vaccinated too. But if someone doesn’t want their kids vaccinated for religious reasons or out of sheer paranoia, do you believe they should be forced to vaccinate them?

    Dave

  • Clavos

    The eleven PM news program just announced that the CDC has announce that this year’s version of the H1N1 will be similar to the virus which struck during the 40s and 50s. For that reason, they no longer think it will affect the elderly the most, because they are carrying an immunity acquired during that period; instead, it will be most deadly for those aged 5 -24.

    Those numbers don’t add up, but then the CDC is a government agency, so it’s not surprising.

  • Kevin

    Can you imagine how disappointed the makers (and middle-men) of the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine were when they didn’t get the ‘mandatory’ ruling. Millions of people won, but a few people lost millions of dollars. Damn us, huh? See, it comes down to another dollar amount and the continued infringements on our rights. When you can create a product that millions want…it’s great. When you have a product that will be forcibly pushed on millions…it’s corruption (our government). Capitalism was awesome until lobbyist bought Congress (and Congress took the money, land, votes, etc.), now it’s just an organized mafia. Watch, a crisis will come (natural or orchestrated) and you will beg for help, and in turn give another chunk of your freedom away. Obama is smiling while holding his big bag of ‘suckers’ (that he got from Bush). Socialism could be only one crisis away with this administration.

  • http://donaldgibson.blogspot.com/Gre Donald Gibson

    But if someone doesn’t want their kids vaccinated for religious reasons…do you believe they should be forced to vaccinate them?

    Yes, just as I believe that children who suffer from leukemia shouldn’t be denied proper medical care because their parents have religious beliefs that preclude such treatment.

    If adults wish to forgo potentially life-saving medical treatments, then more power to them. When they prevent their kids from such treatment — because whatever dogma they ascribe to deems it wrong — then that’s child neglect as far as I’m concerned. The idea that someone’s god should supersede the well-being of children (especially young ones, who aren’t mature enough to comprehend the medical decisions that affect their lives) is ludicrous.

  • http://donaldgibson.blogspot.com/Gre Donald Gibson

    Not sure why those quotes are in the 3rd paragraph of my response. I didn’t put them there (as I wasn’t quoting anyone).

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    It’s a new bug, Donald, and has been reported to those that deal with such.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Thanks for the article Dave and the extra touch of the video. I don’t want the government running my healthcare or that of my family. Keep the information flowing!

  • Mark Schannon

    While I’m squarely on fence with regard to the immunization issue…at least as it applies to adults…I do think the government has both the right and responsibility to force parents to provide their children with reasonable medical care regardless of their religious or philosophical idiotsyncracies.

    However, you use the article to drag out that dead, blood-encrusted dog, “who do you want running your life–some moronic, mouth-breathing, government bureaucrat OR you.” (OK, I took some liberties there.)

    What bothers me about this approach is that it assumes that our current system provides us with so much freedom. It’s a joke that’s growing more grim with every passing year. Government death squads monitoring medicare? Hell, I’d prefer those to insurance company death squads.

    Individual health insurance is a nightmare. $18k a year for two, $5k deductible each and if you go out of network, you might as well just sell your house. And when you submit bills, they somehow lose about 25% of them which means resubmitting, phone calls, pleas & threats.

    That’s Blue Cross, the only company that will insure us…we tried many.

    I don’t trust the government very much but I trust them a hell of a lot more than I do health insurance companies, so when you raise the spectre of big brother taking away your rights, remember that you’ve already ceded them to your friendly neighborhood insurance company.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Mark, if medical insurance is that bad for you (it would be that bad for us were we to move back to the States, G-d forbid) in the States, you definitely should bring your bride here. For the two of you, a basic plan would cost about 200 shekels a month. That’s the law. (From here on, I’m talking about my own provider here, MeuHedet – the others may differ) You pay 19 shekels (per quarter) to visit a neurologist and you pay 25 shekels (per quarter) to visit a higher class specialist. GP visits are free. Prescription drugs go for 12 to 80 shekels a box of 28 or 30. You can buy additional plans on top of this, though I’m not sure of the rates. In any event, they are not expensive at all, usually 200 shekels a month for someone your age.

    At present, the dollar is worth about NIS 3.80 and is likely to go down to NIS 3.40 in about a year. That’s dirt cheap, Mark.

    I’M TALKING ABOUT SOCIALIZED MEDICINE HERE, DUDE. None of this capitalist bullshit. And I got great care at Sha’aré Tzédek Hospital when I had a heart attack. It cost me all of a goose egg. Plus you’ll be surrounded by JEWISH and ARAB doctors, and some of the most advanced treatment methods on the planet.

    The swine flu is here as well as the States – that you will not get away from no matter where you go.

    And they sell Jameson’s here.

  • Mark Schannon

    Oy, not socialized medicine! What are you, Ruvy, some kinda commie pinko, flag burning, gun bearing…hmmm hard to characterize you after all.

    But I’m only a few years away from our own socialized medicine, MEDICARE! Of course here it’s not socialized medicine, it’s freedom medicine (like Freedom Fries).

    The fact is, my friend, that the bride is not high on moving to Israel. And even if she were, the odds of us selling our house in this Republican-created nightmare of an economic environment, sheesh, don’t get me started…ROFL.

    But I appreciate the continued invitation. We’re beginning to travel a bit more, so who knows, maybe next year in Jerusalem.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Baronius

    Ruvy, what do residents of Jerusalem say at the Passover meal? I realize that question sounds silly, but it’s sincere.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Hiya Mark Schannon, my favorite and most cherished nemesis. Nice to see you :-)

    I should have a surprise for you in a couple/few years or so. Which is what I’ll need to get through all that evolutionary psychology stuff–among other stuff that requires reading in order to test my hypothesis against the current and prevailing expertise. And if my hypothesis seems correct after considering that work, you can read the reasons for my theory of why things are the way they are.

    Which reminds me, thinking of cavemen (for some reason)–my husband’s sister explained to me yesterday how human teeth have adapted as a result of chewing on brontosauri. (She couldn’t see me rolling my eyes over the phone. For that, I’m grateful.)

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    …what do residents of Jerusalem say at the Passover meal?….

    It’s not a silly question at all, Baronius. I’ll start with the Hebrew and work my way to the English.

    What is said at the séder is hashaná haba’á b’yerushaláyim – next year in Jerusalem. In Israel, we say hashaná haba’á b’yerushaláyim b’nuyá – next year in rebuilt Jerusalem – meaning the Temple on the Temple Mount.

    As it is, Jerusalem is always being built up, thank G-d. If only they would care enough to keep the place clean, too….

  • pablo

    Baronius 10

    “This issue is a tough one for me. Libertarianism isn’t a suicide pact. I don’t know which side of the line this falls”

    I guess your not a fan of Patrick Henry.

  • Baronius

    Pablo – Yes I am a fan. I just don’t know, on this issue, which side is the side of the angels. Don’t you have any misgivings?

  • Mark Schannon

    Baronius, reformed Jews say “Next year in Jerusalem…in spirit.” Well, some do.

    Hiya Cindy. Glad you’re still working on all this new weird science. Give a hint about your theories, eh?

    I’m in the middle of a book, which I can’t find, but the name is something like “On Being Certain.” Someone on BC may have recommended it. Part of it examines how faulty our memories are & how strongly we’ll hold to false memories even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    Just reinforces what I’ve come to believe: The past is a creation, the future is unknowable, and the present is a myth. And enjoy life, it’s all we got.

    I’m not doing much thinking these days, but at some point I’d love to get back to my caveman theories.

    (And you showed incredible restraint with your sister-in-law.)

    In Jameson Veritas

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Mark,

    Give a hint about your theories, eh?

    My theory (or maybe a whole bunch of bits of a lot of people’s theories, etc, along with my thinking) explains why we are not what we imagine we are and also why we interpret the evidence and imagine ourselves the way we do. And why when we do that we end up creating this: More

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Oh, and Mark, if I could ask you a favor. If you could give me the name of the most convincing book/treatise/writer/researcher you know on evolutionary psychology. Maybe the one that convinced you?

  • mary podlesak

    I was trained in Statistics, Economics and Operations Research. I am the mother of 4 high functioning autistic teens and was told by my biostatistician friend at Yale U. that autism is irrefutably caused by vaccines. Vaccines are not the wonder drugs portrayed by medicine or government. The statistics favoring vaccines have been gathered and analyzed by those with a vested financial interest in the promotion of vaccination. No case control studies have ever been performed comparing vaccinated vs. never vaccinated individuals over long time frames observing adverse events. I will never be silenced regarding these truths. Only a 45 calibur to my cranium could silence me, but even that cannot silence the truth that vaccines have no medical merit and in fact are immuniological time bombs. If you want to make scientific assertions you had better have the science to back it up. Show me the studies, show me the data, show me the replicated science.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Yes, just as I believe that children who suffer from leukemia shouldn’t be denied proper medical care because their parents have religious beliefs that preclude such treatment.

    But this isn’t lifesaving medical treatment. It’s a vaccine which will save a reasonable percentage of a very tiny number of people who would die from the virus. When the odds are 99-1 that a kid won’t die without the vaccine, why should it be forced on him?

    If adults wish to forgo potentially life-saving medical treatments, then more power to them. When they prevent their kids from such treatment ” because whatever dogma they ascribe to deems it wrong ” then that’s child neglect as far as I’m concerned. The idea that someone’s god should supersede the well-being of children (especially young ones, who aren’t mature enough to comprehend the medical decisions that affect their lives) is ludicrous.

    So in your view adults are not responsible for their chilren. Instead, the state is and parents should have no rights? Where do you draw the line? Perhaps we should take kids away from parents who have unacceptable beliefs and have the government raise them?

    Dave

  • Mark Schannon

    Dave, maybe you’re right about this vaccine but you have to have some give in what appears to be a rigid philosophical approach (not to mention erecting straw men for destruction.)

    So in your view adults are not responsible for their chilren. Instead, the state is and parents should have no rights? Where do you draw the line? Perhaps we should take kids away from parents who have unacceptable beliefs and have the government raise them?

    No one is saying that & you know it. Of course parents should be responsible for their children, but what if they’re not. To go to an extreme, if a parent engaged in incest, wouldn’t you expect the government to intervene? By the nature of the issues we face, there can’t be hard & fast rules about how to resolve parental rights butting up against government’s responsibilities.

    The only solution is for reasonable people to come out from behind ideology to acknowledge these are hard questions that deserve serious and open-minded discussion.

    And…no one has yet commented on my claim that health insurance “death squads” are far worse than anything the government could create. The former actually exist; the latter are a right wing LSD flashback.

    Cindy, there wasn’t one book. It actually started from my own personal and business experience, trying to understand why really smart people do incredibly stupid things.

    I’m pretty sure I e-mailed you a list of books & articles, but one book that really solidified my understanding of the role of the unconscious was Timothy Wilson’s “Strangers to Ourselves; Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious.” And, as I recall, he spends a lot of time explaining the development of this adaptive unconscious in evolutionary terms. Plus it’s a great read.

    Hope that helps. And I’ll comment on your blog post.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Fingal

    The issue of forcing vaccinations has been addressed by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), in 2000. They say no. This is not an anti-vaccination group, please notice. They are against *forced* vaccination.

    If you believe the vaccination is effective, take it. If it is, you’ll be safe.

    Forcing people to administer treatments to their children is not something to be done casually. It’s not enough to say that your scientist is better-connected to the existing power structure than mine is, even though that may well be true.

    Beware of claims of omniscience, whether from priests or scientists.

  • Fingal

    Government ‘Death Panels’ are the new Black Helicopters.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiXmw5a9kiM me
  • noella.

    who, what, why are you people talking about? White people don’t know or understanding black people at all. Obama’s blackness is showing, and white people are shaking in their boots.

  • itrekalot

    Who do I want making my health care decisions? I sure as hell don’t want the insurance company death panels continuing to make them!!!! Thank God for Obama and his wisdom in trying to give Americans back their health FREEDOM!!