Letter to the Editor: Vaccines – Do the Rights of the Many Outweigh the Rights of the Few?

By Tina Schueler
Los Alamos

In response to recent concerns voiced about vaccine rights, this is a case of the rights of the many vs. the rights of the few. 

Vaccines only work to preserve the general population if “herd immunity” is achieved, when vaccines are administered to a high percentage (85 percent.)

With fewer parents vaccinating their children whether due to personal choice, safety concerns or greater awareness of the health risks to a susceptible child, this high percentage is not being met in some areas and outbreaks have occurred. 

Our medical community is rightly concerned and has tightened the circumstances under which a parent may refuse to vaccinate their child.

Is the information now required too onerous or private for our government to collect? Good point. 

Are so many parents now refusing to give vaccines that the rest of the population is at risk? And doesn’t that majority have the right to health? Good point. 

Both groups have their rights infringed. Which group is larger? Which rights are more important?

Do parents’ rights to refuse trump the rights of the greater majority to be safe? The children who are not vaccinated generally enjoy the herd immunity for all and are as less likely to encounter those diseases than if we fall below herd immunity. 

Then all children are exposed, both vaccinated and not, so all children are at risk.

This is what the medical community and our government is faced with. Constituents are allowed the right to discuss government actions with our representatives, but the technicalities must be understood.


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