22. Vaccinations

As a general rule, vaccinations should be strongly recommended for the entire population except, obviously, for those for whom it may pose a risk deemed to be too high (either due to possible allergic reactions to the vaccine or some other reason).

However, vaccines should be used as sparingly as possible (to minimize the risk of vaccine-induced diseases), yet liberal enough to ensure a population effectively immunized against a significant outbreak of serious disease. Ideally, the best balance would be to vaccinate the population until the number of people acquiring the disease from the natural environment begins to drop below the number of people acquiring the disease (unintentionally) through the vaccine or acquiring some other significant vaccine-induced complication.

If parents so choose, vaccines could be given separately in individual doses to allow the body to adjust completely before the next dose is administered. However, because there is no evidence to suggest that this is in any way beneficial in comparison with simultaneous vaccinations with multiple vaccines, parents should be informed of the additional costs involved in such a choice, namely additional doctor visits, travel time, etc.

Vaccinations should be voluntary but people refusing to permit vaccinations for themselves or their children should be required to pay a fee that varies according to the percentage of the total population who have refused vaccinations. The higher the percentage of people who are not vaccinated, the higher the fee will be. For example, if 10% of the population is not vaccinated against measles, parents who refuse to have their child vaccinated against this disease should be required to pay a fee of $100 per year for every year in which the child remains unvaccinated beginning with the year the vaccination is first normally scheduled to be administered. In addition, parents and children may face some social restrictions such as not being allowed to attend school if a measles outbreak is occurring. If 20% of the population is not vaccinated, then the fee may rise to $200 per year, thus encouraging more people to choose to get vaccinated. However, the fees for refusing vaccinations should be based on the actual relative risks posed to the population by the specific characteristics of the disease (some diseases are more inconvenient and deadly than others), the ease with which the disease is communicated, the risk of complications, and the average cost of treating such illnesses.

Free Vaccinations

Universal vaccinations prescribed by the governing public health agency should all be free. Because the public benefit is so high from a properly vaccinated population, and because there is no significant risk of any real waste of vaccines (most people wouldn’t needlessly seek out additional doses of the same vaccine), keeping the vaccines free would eliminate the excuse that the poorest people may have for not being properly vaccinated. It would also simplify the whole administrative process.

Immune Shot Scars

Immune shots and other types of shots that leave, or have a likely chance of leaving permanent, significant scars on the body should not be administered on a very visible place of the body, such as on the upper outside portion of the arm (on the deltoid muscle), for example. Another, more hidden portion of the body should be sought so that the recipient does not have to endure unsightly scars in such an obvious location.

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