The American controversy over the vaccination, or lack-thereof of the MMR vaccine against measles, like most American controversies becomes a political football when the solution is simple. Complicating simple issues is the hallmark of American politics because American politicos don’t want to solve problems. Rather, American politicos want to score political points to help their political careers regardless of the cost to the American population. Case in point is the measles outbreak issue.
There are Americans who fear science. There are also Americans who do not believe their government institutions, in this case the health services of the country. Then there are American citizens who just don’t know any better. This has led to the measles outbreaks in America. The U.S. Constitution provides for Americans to choose what they believe.
The CDC has reported measles outbreaks in California, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Washington. The CDC has also issued Level 1 warnings for Brazil, Israel, Japan, Philippines and the Ukraine due to measles outbreaks. In 2018, there were only four cases of measles reported in México. All of them were imported from Europe. México has also issued an alert for the same countries the CDC has listed as a measles danger for American citizens.
It is also important to point out that the American measles outbreak has yet to be linked to the asylum seekers at the border. The New York measles outbreak has been traced to October 2018. Many of the 153 people who have contracted the measles live within the Orthodox Jewish community. An unvaccinated child who traveled to Israel has been identified as the source of the New York outbreak. Other outbreaks across the county have been linked to Europe.
Although measles was declared eradicated in the United States in 2000, measles outbreaks among Americans continue because some parents have stopped immunizing their children out of fear.
Therein lies the simple solution to the problem. Personal responsibility means that the individual who chose not to vaccinate their child because of fear or religious objections should be made to bear the cost and the damage caused by their lack of personal responsibility to the society around them.
Those choosing not to vaccinate simply because of fear or religious objections have the responsibility to ensure their decision does not put others in danger. For example, they should not travel abroad where measles remains a problem. If they choose to expose their child to measles in Israel, for example, they must isolate the child from other children upon their return to the country during the long incubation period.
Those that are not vaccinated due to medical reasons are already practicing enhanced protections because of medical reasons so they are not likely to infect others.
But those making the choice not to vaccinate must assume the responsibility for doing so. New York and other municipal and state governments must hold those making vaccination decisions accountable for their actions. There are many liability laws in place that can be used to hold them accountable for endangering the American population.