If only it was only you

There’s a particularly nasty group of anti-vaccinationists called the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) polluting that nice land.

They’re anti-vaccine though they try to say they’re pro-choice on vaccines — but that doesn’t matter. Being pro-choice on vaccines isn’t acceptable either.

It’s entirely right and reasonable to say you don’t want to be vaccinated, and it’s your health and your own decision — after all, I’d be up in flames if anyone demanded me to eat healthy, or a smoker to give up smoking because it’s bad for her health. Personal freedom includes the freedom to self-harm, right?

However, that’s not the matter here. Most people that get vaccinated are children — infants. And there must be a difference between what you can do to yourself, and what to your children. You can do anything you want to yourself as far as I’m concerned — don’t take vaccinations, chop your dick off, wear clothes woven from your own hair, read Twilight — but your children aren’t your pets or dolls. Your whims can’t be all there is in their life. And as asking for your neighbor’s whims isn’t that good either, children have to be treated according to our best, impartial, scientific knowledge, given the best we have — and our best knowledge says that if they’re vaccinated they’re much less likely to die in a variety of unpleasant and nasty ways.

One more thing — because I have to take back even that what I said about it being okay for you to not get vaccinated yourself. You can do to yourself whatever you want — but of course that doesn’t extend to harming others. You don’t get to vivisect your neighbor because you just wanna. You don’t get to take a sno-cone from a child on the street just because you’re hungry. You don’t get to hurt other people just because of a whim. And as infectious diseases spread better among the unvaccinated, and there are people who can’t because of real medical reasons be vaccinated, there is genuine and immense benefit in herd immunity — near-everyone being vaccinated. Optimally, everyone.

And thus my stand is this: you don’t get to say your child won’t be vaccinated, because that’s not something you get to decide any more than you’d get to chop one of her legs off.

And you don’t get to say you won’t get yourself vaccinated any more than you get to piss to a vat at the milk processing plant just for the shits, giggles and deeply-felt personal pro-choice reasons you may have.

Laws may not yet agree, but the logic stands. Okay?

(A tip of hat to Phil “12 bazillion blog articles” Plait.)

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