Vaccine Safety

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Im1wthu11 9 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #217


    I found an interesting video arguing that vaccines are quite safe to take, explaining the controversy over autism and various potential ingredients and why people’s fears are misplaced.

    It doesn’t really make a strong case, in my opinion, for legally requiring parents to have their children vaccinated. It basically argues that vaccines are safe and that reduced rates of vaccination following anti-vaccine campaigns in different areas are correlated with resurgences of the diseases people refuse to vaccinate against. But it stops there, without addressing the question of whether it’s ok to force people to be vaccinated or to have their kids vaccinated in order to reduce the risk that they or others will catch a disease.

    I haven’t checked all the sources, but I found it fairly convincing as far as the arguments that vaccines are safe. It bothers me a little bit to hear that some vaccines contain gelatin, (because gelatin is an animal product,) but the video says gelatin free alternatives are usually available.

    I honestly figured vaccines were safe before watching the video, so I didn’t really need much convincing there, though I really like that the video civilly discusses the topic and takes a matter-of-fact tone, simply, (for the most part), providing information that people would want. It doesn’t come off as condescending or preachy or moralistic, the way some skeptics who discuss the topic might, and I like that. I wish they at least acknowledged the question of whether lower risk to a population of catching a disease justifies forced vaccinations, but I still think the video is interesting for the information it contains.

    I post it for a few reasons: for anyone who is curious about whether vaccines are safe or not, for anyone who wants a good source to point to to show that they are, and to bring up the topic of legally requiring vaccinations, and see what people’s opinions are on the topic. I’m not sure what my own opinion is, but I’m curious what others think, and for what reasons.

    • This topic was modified 10 months ago by  Jacob.
  • #228

    Spooner Bookman

    One problem I’m having is that I don’t know if you can separate the legal-requirement issue and the are-vaccines-safe-and-effective-? issue. If vaccines are safe and effective, you have one argument. If vaccines are dangerous and/or haven’t been effective, then you have a whole different argument on your hands…

    So before you could debate the legal-requirement issue, I think you’d have to first determine whether or not vaccines really are ‘safe’ and ‘effective’, right? Or, no?

  • #231


    I certainly agree that the two questions are greatly connected, and that whether vaccines are safe and effective or not makes a big difference. What bothers me is when some, (like the narrator in the video,) don’t acknowledge the possibility of other costs to having a legal requirement that would still exist even with safe and effective vaccines. (E.g. loss of autonomy regarding one’s physical body.)

    I do think one could take an absolutist position, rejecting any legal requirement that one be vaccinated or have one’s children vaccinated regardless of the safety of the vaccines, without necessarily being inconsistent in one’s beliefs. It’s not a position I would take, but taking such a position would let one take a stand on the legal-requirement issue without knowing much about the safe-and-effective issue.

    That position would indeed be different from arguing against a legal requirement on the grounds that they’re not safe and effective, though. You’re right that they’re different arguments.

    There are also distinct questions regarding whether they’re effective at preventing the vaccinated person from becoming ill, and whether they’re effective at preventing the vaccinated person from making others ill. The later has more to do with the legal-requirement question, from a libertarian standpoint, I think.

    Just thinking out loud.

  • #232


    The principled libertarian position is that people should be allowed to choose for themselves whether to vaccinate or not. Just like: People should be allowed to choose for themselves whether to use heroin or not. The safety or efficacy question is a separate issue.

    Part of the problem is that States have captured, more or less, the education industry. Thus, there are compulsory schools that herd children together, creating an involuntary externality – the risk of infecting other children. In a free society, of course, private schools could make their own policies regarding vaccination, and parents could home-school, or students could learn online. There would be choices for students and parents.

  • #233


    As for the safety/efficacy issue, I think most vaccines are probably safe. The video is a little misleading by framing it as a false dichotomy – vaccines or not. Different vaccines have different risks and rewards, so I would say that it depends on the vaccine. Also, it occurs to me that there is fragility in using vaccines or medicines, in that the more different ones you use, the more likely a black swan event will occur.

  • #235


    I agree with the compulsory schooling point, and the “depends on the vaccine” point. And the black swan point. Basically I agree with your points, Bill.

    I’m curious what you both think of this line of thought: under what circumstances could infecting another person with a disease be considered aggression? It seems that, say, creating a concoction that would infect someone on contact, and then going out and tossing it at a stranger’s face, could be considered aggression in the libertarian sense. Where’s the line between that and being infected oneself, sneezing on another person, and making them sick? We could look at intentions, at the likelihood that someone would be infected from the sneeze, at the probable damage done by the disease, and various other factors, but is there a hard line to be drawn using the non-aggression principle?

    Either way, leaving the rules up to those running voluntary schools, shopping malls, transportation infrastructure, and so on, so that they could decide whether unvaccinated individuals could enter their premises or not, seems like it would help combat illnesses and be consistent with libertarian ideas, so perhaps that would work well enough and we would end up with less of a need to figure out where to draw a line between trying to attack someone by infecting them and infecting them because one was not vaccinated.

  • #246


    They are really pushing the HPV vaccine where I am. I hear it on the radio every day about how we should be vaccinating our kids for this.

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