Vermont Debating Inoculation Legislation

By Karin Krisher

The hot topics among parents today include Autism, diet, technology dependence and of course, inoculation. Most states require vaccinations for children entering public school; currently, Vermont does not.

The debate is, as should be expected, based on the balance between utilitarian arguments and personal freedoms. When so many people do take the steps to proper vaccination, and those individuals’ choices are affected by those that do not take the steps, we have a difficult legislative battle on our hands.

One of the fuels for the battle is the misperception that vaccines and vaccines alone directly cause diseases, disorders or behavioral issues. Parents who choose not to vaccinate are, in their minds, choosing health, making it difficult for anyone to fault them.

But the problem arises when people making that decision would also like to be part of a massive public educational infrastructure, which is a product of the needs of the many. As a majority of people do have their children vaccinated, putting that decision in jeopardy due to the decisions of the few is likely unethical.

At the same time, choices about health are a personal freedom in many senses, and to take that away makes a statement. Our feeling is that representatives are elected to speak for a majority, and so will generally attempt to promote the needs of the majority. The majority of people do vaccinate, and health has become a public effort in many ways, meaning we think Vermont will be making some changes.

How do you feel about vaccinations? Do you recommend them to your patients?