As Michelle Malkin notes, there is a HUGE difference between suggesting and supporting the use of vaccines and Mandating them. So, while Sarah Palin was apparently opposed to mandating Gardasil, she accepted federal funds to make it less expensive for those who chose it.
And, without claiming to be a scientist, there is a big difference between diseases like smallpox (which we no longer vaccinate for because it appears to be extinct),polio, measles and mumps which spread like wildfire through a population of school age children by mere contact and the virus that causes cervical cancer, which is, apparently, spread through sexual contact.
All vaccines, so I am told, have some danger. As an example, a very few people will become infected with polio by the polio vaccine.
Those talking about herd immunity need to consider HOW a disease is spread before advocating that its use be mandated. We also have to talk about what sort of disease we are preventing.
I am one of the increasingly few people who has had measles, mumps and chicken pox. And lived to tell the tale. Not wonderful, but not all that bad either. When I was young there were no vaccines for those diseases. On the other hand, I was made to stand in line, by my mother, for at least an hour to receive the Salk vaccine. Polio is a very devastating disease.
Tons of physicians recommend that I, a senior citizen, get my flu shot. I have chosen not to. Haven’t had the flu either.
So my take is that it is okay to mandate the use of vaccines as a condition of attending public school if the disease is one which is spread easily through ordinary human contact and is one that can have devastating consequences. (And yes, I know that rubella and mumps can have devastating consequences even though they don’t usually). That is a public health issue. I would not even mandate tetanus shots because tetanus is not spread through ordinary human contact. Having said that, the last time I suffered a puncture wound, I had a tetanus shot.
Most parents who care for their children will have them vaccinated, and that fact confers some herd immunity right there.
I think what the conservative position on vaccinations is that it it is not a disease which is easily spread by ordinary human contact then vaccines should not be mandated. Is that so really “unscientific”. If a board of doctors can decide what I am vaccinated with , can they decide what I am allowed to eat and drink as well?