For many of you, this is very much preaching to the choir.
This post is for the newbies are new lurkers
If anyone has any other points on ethics and herd immunity, please add.
Herd immunity - or the idea that we should vaccinate to protect those whose own immunity is low - has a number of ethical issues when it comes to vaccination of children.
1. Vaccines are not without risks. No person should be expected to vaccinate solely to benefit others. It should not even be a consideration when deciding to vaccinate. People should vaccinate because they have weighed the pros and cons and think it will benefit their child. Period.
2. The responsibility of a parent is towards their own child, first. We have a biological imperative to protect our children. It is funny, many pro-vaxxers vaccinate their children against chicken pox, with nary a worry that the mass use of chicken pox vaccine is increasing the shingles rate in everyone in their country who is 15 or so and older. They also do not worry about vaccine shedding. I absolutely support their right to vaccinate even if it can potentially hurt others in their community; parents responsibility is towards their child first.
3. I bolded the word "expected" above for a reason. No lay person should be expected to risk themselves for others. Sometime people voluntarily take risks for others - and that is fine. The only people who can choose to take on a risk for another is an adult. Babies and children cannot consent to take a risk for another. Adults can vaccinate themselves out of some sense of altruism - but that is not something we can place on children.