Discussions about vaccines – including their efficacy, their potential harms to individuals, their benefits to society in general, and lots of related topics – tend to have very little middle ground. In fact, it’s hard to find a discussion about vaccines that doesn’t involve heated debate and intense argument.  People are most often either decidedly FOR vaccinations or very much AGAINST them. It’s under this context that the question is often asked, should vaccines be mandatory by law?

I don’t pretend to be a medical expert, but I have developed strong and well-informed opinions from decades of researching what medical experts on both sides of the argument have said.   For reasons that will become apparent throughout this article, I am certain that vaccines should not be mandatory by law for several reasons, including:

  • Mandating vaccines and legislating shot schedules can interfere with a health provider’s care for patients.
  • Many cases of vaccine related injuries have been well documented.
  • Although it is often accepted by the general medical community as being untouchable, the concept of herd immunity, the foundational premise of compulsory vaccinations, is highly suspect.

Dr. Bob Sears Medical Practice Probation

Just a few months ago, in June, 2018, I read a news report about Dr. Bob Sears, a pediatrician in Southern California, being placed on probation for 35 months by the Medical Board of California. The good doctor’s crime was to trust the mother of a two-year-old patient of his when she described her son’s adverse reaction to vaccines. Taking the boy’s mother at her word, rather than waiting the year it would take to receive his vaccine immunization record, Dr. Sears made the practical decision to write an exemption letter for the boy, which would allow him to forego his childhood vaccination schedule.

Sears’ explanation for his actions in his own words, goes like this:

After all, I don’t want a child to receive a medical treatment that could cause more harm. I am going to first do no harm, every time.

In California, one of the most aggressive states in the country with regard to enforcing vaccine schedules for kids, a doctor’s intuition, good judgment, and conscience-based commitment to the Hippocratic oath are not enough to keep him out of trouble when it comes to mandatory laws.

In this example, as with plenty of others like it, a legally mandated vaccine schedule obviously gets in the way of a doctor’s primary obligation to take care of a patient.

Vaccine Injuries

Instead of allowing vaccination manufacturers to be held liable by those who have evidence that their health (or the health or their children) has been affected by vaccines, the US Department of Health and Human Services created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The existence of the program itself is ample evidence of the fact that in a significant number of cases, people are harmed, often permanently, by receiving vaccines.

If you can’t be sure before a vaccine is administered whether it will cause damage to a person, how is it possible that laws could exist to make a certain set of largely not understood vaccines mandatory? It simply doesn’t make sense.

Besides the thousands of cases that have been found to have merit by the vaccine injury fund, which has paid out almost $4 billion in damages to vaccine injured people, there are similar numbers of people whose legitimate claims were not taken seriously by the HHS and others who have chosen to share their specific stories publicly. The YouTube Channel VAXXED TV has over a thousand videos that include testimonials from parents whose children were injured by vaccines.

This particular story shared by Brenda and David McDowell about how their triplets responded to receiving the Pneumococcal vaccine. All three of their children “shut down” the same day the vaccine was administered to them.

Questioning Herd Immunity

The concept of herd immunity was introduced in the early 1900s as a possible explanation of the collective response of members of a population towards disease. The idea behind herd immunity is that when a large enough percentage of the population becomes immune from a disease, the population itself is protected from the disease.

A commentary published by Dr. Tetyana Obukhanych takes aim at the foundations upon which herd immunity” is built. Among the conclusions she draws in her commentary is this:

The biomedical belief that a vaccine-exempt child endangers the society by not contributing to herd immunity is preposterous, because vaccinating every single child by the required schedule cannot maintain the desired herd immunity anyway.  It is time to let go of the bigotry against those seeking vaccination exemptions for their children. Instead, we should turn our attention to the outcome of mass vaccination campaigns that lies ahead.

I have had discussions with several doctors (ones who are open to challenging the status quo regarding vaccinations) who come to the same conclusion: there are severe flaws with the concept of herd immunity, and there is certainly not enough evidence of the theory to justify forcing people to receive vaccines.

The Mawson Homeschoolers Study

A study released in November, 2017 compares vaccinated versus un-vaccinated homeschooled children to understand whether there is a difference in the respective health found among the two separate groups. The study done by Anthony Mawson and some colleagues researhed 666 homeschooled children (because 95% of public and private school children are vaccinated, a study of a group of homeschooled children is the only way to have a control group), and found that the non-vaccinated group was much healthier, including lower incident rates of allergies, asthma, chronic illness, autism, learning disabilities, and other undesirable outcomes.

Why Would We Make Vaccination Compulsory?

While there are plenty of arguments that can and have been made on behalf of vaccines highlighting their benefits to society, enough documentation exists to cause us to not only refrain from making vaccinations mandatory, but to question how much benefit they provide overall.