Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky made headlines by making the absurd statement that mandatory vaccines are a “threat to liberty”. Senator Paul’s comments ignore the long legislative history of mandated vaccines in the United States.
To be clear, mandated vaccines DOES NOT mean someone will hold down your child and vaccinate them against your will. It DOES mean that your child will not be allowed into the public-school system or public child care centers to expose other children to potentially deadly diseases because your kid’s primary doctor is Jenny McCarthy.
Currently all 50 states have laws mandating vaccines for children going to a public-school system. However, those laws get undermined by the fact that 17 states allow a “philosophical” exemption, essentially, I don’t want to vaccinate my kids so I don’t have to. And 47 states offer “religious” exemptions, which is another loophole that anti-vax parents use to avoid getting their kids lifesaving vaccines.
These exemptions need to be removed in all 50 states. My children should not be exposed to potentially deadly diseases because another parent is a conspiracy theorist who thinks that vaccines cause autism because of a debunked article from the 90s.
For those crying Constitutional infringement of “rights”, that argument has been struck down twice at the Supreme Court. First in Jacobson v. Massachusetts and then again in Zucht v. King, states are allowed to mandate vaccines in order to be enrolled in a public-school system.
The only thing they are required to make accommodations for are people with legitimate medical reasons for not receiving the vaccine. In fact, three states already have no religious or philosophical exemptions for vaccine requirements to enter the public-school system.
That means if your kids are going to be in the public-school system in those states, they will be vaccinated. This is a common-sense solution to a self-inflicted problem of measles and other diseases having a resurgence because of idiotic anti-vax parents thinking they know better than their doctors because they watched a few YouTube videos.