Should vaccinations be mandatory? A debate in the New York Times

Why Evolution Is True

Sunday’s New York Times had one of those “room for debate” features that feature short essays by a group of people on a single topic, but this one is of special interest to science and woo hounds. The topic was “Making vaccination mandatory for all children,” and four people weigh in with divergent opinions. Surprisingly, only one one favors mandatory vaccination for all, and another—the former Surgeon General of the U.S.—favors mandatory vaccination except for those with religious beliefs against vaccination!

My own view is that vaccination is a social good, and there should be no exemptions save medical ones (i.e., people who are ill, immunocompromised, and so on). Vaccinations protect not only the recipient from disease, but also others in society. Even those who are vaccinated could contract a disease from someone unvaccinated for that disease, as vaccinations don’t always “take”. Further, vaccinations are given to babies and…

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