Ontario prepares to implement classes to teach parents why vaccinating their children is necessary
Against all odds – and facts, and science, and common sense – the debate about whether or not to vaccinate our kids rages on. Despite the sudden resurgence of diseases that have been under control for decades, including outbreaks at the Happiest Place on Earth, there remain plenty of people out there committed to refusing vaccinations.
Australia has cut benefits to people who refuse to vaccinate their children, California has moved to set tough laws enforcing mandatory vaccinations, even universally beloved Kristen Bell has come out strongly against those who potentially endanger her children’s lives. But things have reached another level.
You know it’s getting out of hand when the world’s nicest country stops pulling punches.
According to CBC News, Ontario is considering requiring parents who don’t want to vaccinate to take a class about the scientific value of vaccinations.
Right now, kids in Ontario need certain vaccines in order to attend school unless they have an exemption. This proposed bill would mean any parent gunning for an exemption would need to “complete an education session offered by their local public health unit before children are exempted from getting vaccinated.”
The class would serve two purposes:
- To make it easier for most parents and schools to keep their children’s immunization records up to date. “The legislation would also require health-care providers to report to the public health unit what vaccines are given to children, in an attempt to reduce school suspensions over out-of-date immunization records. It falls on parents or guardians to ensure children’s vaccination records are up to date, so the change would reduce that burden while strengthening the reporting system.” and;
- To WAKE EVERYONE ELSE THE EFF UP.
Some quick facts, courtesy of DoSomething.org:
- In the past 60 years, vaccines helped eradicate one disease (smallpox) and are close to eradicating another (polio).
- Vaccines prevent more than 2.5 million deaths each year.
- Scientific studies and reviews continue to show no relationship between vaccines and autism.
- New and underutilized vaccines could avert nearly 4 million deaths by 2015.
- Vaccines cause “herd immunity,” which means if the majority of people in a community have been vaccinated against a disease, an unvaccinated person is less likely to get sick because others are less likely to get sick and spread the disease.
That is presumably the kind of thing parents in Ontario will be learning, in an attempt to educate them out of their misguided fears.
It’s frightening to realize that we’re at the point where the general public can’t be trusted to care for each other. And it’s ironic that anti-vaxxers, many of whom are wary of government control, are now, via their ignorance and recklessness, forcing the government to assert their control.
Even more frightening is the realization that classes like the ones under consideration in Canada, and the laws being enacted in Australia and California, and even pleas from Kristen Bell, aren’t enough to penetrate the ignorance and paranoia of people who believe that vaccines cause autism. Or that Jenny McCarthy has any idea what she’s talking about.
It doesn’t matter if your favorite celebrity is for or against vaccinations, because they aren’t a fad. The anti-vax movement is not hip, it’s not some exciting new thing to rally behind. The only burn anti-vaxxers should be feeling is the shame of putting innocent children at risk.
It’s a shame we’ve gotten to the point that we need to regulate the administration of something that’s in all of our best interests, but Ontario’s decision to educate the public is enough to make me want to sing “O Canada.” And I don’t even watch hockey.