measles

Should The Government Force Measles Vaccinations?

The measles vaccination debate heats up as President Obama and future Republican Presidential hopefuls end up making comments in regards to the current measles outbreak – should the government force measles vaccinations?

Should The Government Force Measles Vaccinations?

A recent measles outbreak that for the most part can be traced to my neck of the woods here in Southern California began when a measles infected child was at Disneyland. Since then (and because of the high transmission rate of measles) there have been many linked back to the one child at Disneyland. For the most part, cases of children coming down with the disease have been because of parental decisions to purposely not vaccinate their children against measles in particular. This stems from about a decade of fear propaganda from high profile celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carey.

The current measles outbreak isn’t just limited to California – but several states across the nation but this outbreak hits home for me where at the emergency room that I work at in a major San Diego hospital have had several cases of measles stemming from the Disneyland measles outbreak. From the children that have come in and had the diagnosis confirmed, quite a few of them have had parents that have purposefully not vaccinated their children based on the fears that have surrounded the vaccine.

I can understand not getting the influenza vaccine (for the 2014-2015 flu season alone the vaccinations effectiveness is hovering around 25%). But with a measles vaccine with such a high rate of effectiveness, why put your kids at risk? Better yet, why put another child at risk who can’t get the vaccine or who is too young to get the vaccine? Your negligence shouldn’t be our problem, nor should it be your child’s problem.

Because of the current measles outbreak, it has sparked a recent debate about government and it’s role with public health and vaccinations. Some people are calling for government mandated vaccinations:

What are your thoughts? Should the government have a mandate to force you to vaccinate your child? Even though my empathy may not be something you get from me if your child gets sick from a disease that you could have helped to prevent, I still side with the freedom from the government, to be able to have the choice. Please chime in.

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