People who do not vaccinate their children have so far enjoyed exquisite treatment by the health authority, and the reason is as follows. Epidemiologists estimate that it is enough that 80% of parents follow the vaccination schedule so that 100% of the population is protected. The virus tries to spread from child to child, but if eight out of ten children are immune to it, the spread does not usually work, or not very well. This means that the children of the anti-vaccinations are protected because the other children are vaccinated. Unless the fake news Vaccines double their viral proliferation rate, public health managers can control the situation except in extreme outbreaks. That is the current balance between reason and folly.
Here we talk not only about public health statistics, but about a direct harm that each father and mother has anti-vaccine inflicts on their child
But the study we have met this week introduces a new argument in the discussion. Read on Matter how children who get measles because they have not been vaccinated suffer serious damage to their immune system that exposes them to other infections caused by viruses and bacteria. Here we not only talk about public health statistics, but also about a direct harm that each father and each mother anti-vaccines inflict on their child. They do not necessarily inflict it, since the mere fact that the majority of the population is vaccinated makes it difficult for your child to contract the virus. But they leave you exposed to that disorder in an unnecessary, harmful and blind way. Now it is worth asking whether a father has the right to cause such damage to his son. The opposition of Jehovah's Witnesses to their children receiving transfusions immediately comes to mind. What legal system can tolerate that? And which to the vaccines?
The option that vaccination is mandatory faces us all in serious dilemmas. The mere idea of a clinical state, a medical authority that forces people to receive an injection or swallow a pill, evokes in our minds the darkest works of science fiction, starting with the happy world of the great Aldous Huxley and ending with the latest dystopia that Netflix releases today. That a father refuses for religious reasons to authorize a transfusion that would save his son's life seems to cross the red line of ethical decency. The anti-vaccine religion may now be crossing that same line.
THE SCIENCE OF THE WEEK It is a space in which Javier Sampedro Analyze scientific news. Subscribe to the newsletter of Matter and you will receive it every Saturday in your mail, along with a selection of our best news of the week.