Analysis Of Mandatory Vaccination

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Herd immunity occurs when the majority of a population is immunized against a contagious disease and therefore the disease cannot circulate and dies out (Pierik, 2015). Recently, vaccination refusers have threatened herd immunity for a number of incurable but preventable infectious pathologies described by Roland Pierik in Mandatory Vaccination: an Unqualified Defense (2015). This essay will elaborate on Pierik’s main and counter arguments that childhood vaccinations should be a legal obligation outside the realm of parental freedom and explain which arguments are the most convincing. Pierik (2015) first and most strongly elucidates the state should not allow parents to risk the death and suffering of their child and that the government should …show more content…
Although vaccines are prohibited in certain religions and therefore laws making them compulsory would interfere with freedom of religion and conscious, Pierik (2015) argues that these rights are never unlimited. According to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, freedom of religion and conscious can be restricted under these conditions: (1) the limitation must be prescribed by law, (2) the limitations must be deemed necessary to protect the rights of others and must clearly needed to pursue a legitimate aim such as the protection of public safety, order, health, or morals (Pierik, 2015, p.11). The first condition is satisfied is when vaccination is prescribed by law and the second is met by the government needing to protect public health and for “children and vulnerable have a right to health, the freedom from foreseeable and easily avoidable bodily harm” (Pierik, 2015, p.11). Furthermore, mandatory vaccinations interfere but are not actually a violation to freedom of religion and conscious (Pierik, 2015). The second legal justification in Pierik’s essay refers to proportionality. Since mandatory vaccination interferes with freedom of belief, it should satisfy requirements of proportionality (Pierik, 2015). There are four stages set out by European law: (1) there must be legitimate aim for the measure; (2) the measure must be suitable to achieve the aim; (3) the measure must be necessary to achieve the aim and there cannot be any less onerous way of doing it; (4) the measure must be reasonable considering the competing interests of the different groups at hand (Pierik, 2015, p.11-12). Evidently, the first and second conditions are met. Furthermore the third and fourth would be met if laws were mandatory rather than compulsory, as there would be exemptions for those who morally disagree (Pierik, 2015). However, Pierik (2015) warns it would need to be limited to

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