Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Medicine Canada Government Privacy United States

Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration 493

Posted by timothy
from the ok-you-need-not-register-your-zombies dept.
Responding to an editorial endorsing a national vaccine registry in Canada (though the same kind of registry could be and has been proposed in the U.S. with the same logic), an anonymous reader writes "Vaccine Registration makes me think of Mutant and Superhero registration. The reasons are similar. It's based on fear and misinformation. People fear that unvaccinated people will doom us all. Sound familiar? The difference is this is real. (Oh, and they probably won't use sentinels to track down the dangerous unvaccinated folks.) Thoughts?" From the linked editorial: "A national vaccination registry would identify which Canadians have been fully vaccinated, those who have received less than a full dose of shots, and those who have not been vaccinated at all. Having a vaccine registry in place in the event of an outbreak of measles, whooping cough, and diseases like these would enable public health officials to identify the children and adults who need vaccinations. Getting them the shots they need would reduce the risk of anyone on the list getting sick, and would also reduce the threat of an outbreak in the community in which they live or travel to [and] from." In the U.S., immunization records — at least, ones which have been put in electronic form at all — are maintained in a mix of databases, including at the state level, or maintained by cities, or by insurance companies and medical providers. Here, some people (like the reader who submitted this story) also see a potential for unwarranted privacy invasion in a national vaccination registry; however, their case isn't helped by often being tied to opposition to vaccination more generally.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

Comments Filter:
  • Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:11AM (#47118945)

    Well except mutants aren't real and can't doom us all whereas unvaccinated people can.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ShanghaiBill (739463)

      Yes, this is just misplaced paranoia. Vaccinations are legitimate public health information. Since vaccinations are required for school, international travel, and military service, most vaccinations records are already in some government database anyway. Consolidating the records will reduce costs, make it easier for people who move or change doctors, and make the information accessible in an emergency. Why should I care if the government knows my shot records?

      • by expatriot (903070)

        This is one of those topics that attracts loonies like flies to honey. Of course in the comments below, each side thinks the other side crazy too much control or too irresponsible.

        For me, I think everyone should be vaccinated for common and dangerous diseases. The uncommon ones you can chose to or not (as when traveling). People don't remember polio and smallpox or brain-damage caused by measles.

      • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:03AM (#47119509)

        Yes, this is just misplaced paranoia. Vaccinations are legitimate public health information.

        Just no. That is to say, yes they are legitimate public health information. But no, it is not paranoia.

        Registrations of one kind or another are extremely prone to government abuse. And it isn't valid to say "I know my government representatives and they would never do such a thing." Because you do not know all future government administrations and whether they would do such a thing.

        And if you genuinely cannot imagine how government could conceivably abuse this information, then you shouldn't be speaking up at all. Should everybody be vaccinated? What about people with other health conditions who cannot tolerate the vaccine? Pushing the issue might actually be harmful to some peoples' health in exchange for little if any real societal benefit. Beyond a certain critical mass of vaccinations, additional vaccinations are subject to diminishing returns.

        I was never a great fan of LBJ, but I will leave you with probably one of the greatest things he ever said:

        "You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered." -- Lyndon B. Johnson

        • by nospam007 (722110) *

          "What about people with other health conditions who cannot tolerate the vaccine? "

          Perhaps those people should not work in jobs where they get in contact with people with tuberculosis or other illnesses.

          Like not sending people with wooden legs up a ladder or claustrophobic people in an elevator.

          You know, common sense.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by GT66 (2574287)
          I posted links in another comment but my formatting was shit so I'll try again here since it pertains to your comment anyway.

          It is the government itself, slashing and burning trust and faith that is doing most of the damage to vaccination programs:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org]

          The Tuskegee syphilis experiment was an infamous clinical study conducted between 1932 and 1972 by the U.S. Public Health Service to study the natural progression of untreated syphilis in rural African American men who thoug

        • Re:Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by crmarvin42 (652893) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @12:02PM (#47120845)

          What about people with other health conditions who cannot tolerate the vaccine?

          They would benefit in the event of an oubreak in there area. They could be notified directly that there was an outbreak in the area so that they could then decide to leave the hot zone before becoming infected. I don't think anyone is claiming vaccines should be administered to those at high risk for adverse events (egg allgies, or previous adverse reactions to similar vaccines). However, unvaccinated people do pose a risk not only to themselves, but to others. Being able to mitigate those risks would help everyone.

          To be clear, I approve of something like this for the US (where I live) but only if the list is maintained by health officals only. I see no reason for this to be publicly available information. I have no business knowing if you are vaccinated, but the WHO or CDC does in the event of a legitimate risk in your area.

          Beyond a certain critical mass of vaccinations, additional vaccinations are subject to diminishing returns.

          Very true, but that critical mass is around 95%. The original article makes it clear that in Canada, the vaccination rates are nowhere near that number. Articles I've read in the US place the rates below that number as well. Especially in regions where non-medical vaccination abstentions are high (religious groups, Wealthy communities suffering from the misconception that vaccines are related to autism, etc.).

          • Re:Well... (Score:4, Informative)

            by pepty (1976012) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @01:02PM (#47121515)

            How the US is doing:

            http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastat... [cdc.gov]

            Percent of children 19-35 months old receiving vaccinations for:

            Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (4+ doses DTP, DT, or DTaP): 83%

            Polio (3+ doses): 93%

            Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) (1+ doses): 91%

            Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) (primary series + booster dose): 81%

            Hepatitis B (Hep B) (3+ doses): 90%

            Chickenpox (Varicella) (1+ doses): 90%

            Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) (4+doses): 82%

            Percent of children 6 months to 17 years who received an influenza vaccination during the past 12 months: 45.2%

            Percent of adults 18-49 years who received an influenza vaccination during the past 12 months: 26.3%

            Percent of adults 50-64 years who received an influenza vaccination during the past 12 months: 42.7%

            Percent of adults 65 years and over who received an influenza vaccination during the past 12 months: 66.5%

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by s.petry (762400)

              Why are you putting influenza, which is an illness, in the same category as a "disease"? And you report various numbers for influenza 5 times in your list of 11 items!

              Seriously, this is one of many reason that a debate on vaccines becomes impossible. Influenza is an illness which mutates rapidly. The "influenza" vaccine boasts the lowest rate of success for any vaccine, and one of the highest rate of reported negative side effects. Influenza is also very treatable even in severe cases. Considering that

        • Re:Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by virtualXTC (609488) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @12:16PM (#47120983) Homepage

          Yes, this is just misplaced paranoia. Vaccinations are legitimate public health information.

          Just yes. That is to say, yes they are legitimate public health information. And yes, it is paranoia.

          Paranoia says registrations of one kind or another are extremely prone to government abuse. And it isn't valid to say "I know my government representatives and they would never do such a thing." Because you do not know all future government administrations and whether they would do such a thing.

          - TFTFY

          Further, thouse who's health cannot tolerate vaccanation are exempt from vaccinations for schooling and don't have any place in the milatry. It is unfortunate that madated vaccines are the only way to get us to the ciritical mass that can protect those who cannot be vaccinated, however it's fear mongers like you are what's keeping us below that critical point.

          Moreover, intentional fallicies like this call into question your ablity to think critically and rationally:

          And if you genuinely cannot imagine how government could conceivably abuse this information, then you shouldn't be speaking up at all. Should everybody be vaccinated?

          If you cannot articulate your actual fears are so that they can be addressed, then you are just paronid. I personally can think of very few ways the list could be abused, and none of the abuses outweigh the risk of another Polio outbreak.

        • by nbauman (624611)

          Should everybody be vaccinated? What about people with other health conditions who cannot tolerate the vaccine? Pushing the issue might actually be harmful to some peoples' health in exchange for little if any real societal benefit.

          The people with impaired immune systems, usually from treatment for autoimmune diseases, leukemia or lymphoma, are the very people who have the greatest benefit from herd immunity and the greatest risk if others don't get vaccinated.

          The important point to understand about infectious diseases is that (1) some people don't get infected at all, (2) some people (most people) get infected but don't have any symptoms or any effect, like Typhoid Mary, and (3) some people get infected and come down with a disease.

          T

      • It might be paranoia, but there are laws that govern the dissemination of a patients health history. HIPAA limits what information can be disseminated and how it can be used, so, like it or not, even paranoid people have protection for their medical records. HIPAA would have to be changed to allow such a database in the USA. I can get a certificate of vaccination to show to authorities, but they can't just check my records to see if I am vaccinated, at least not legally.

    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mellon (7048) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:49AM (#47119325) Homepage

      Also, you are an anti-vaxxer by choice, but a mutant by birth.

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        Also, you are an anti-vaxxer by choice, but a mutant by birth.

        For many people, being unvaccinated is kind of like religion: it's a choice their parents made for them and there's no real motivation to do something different.

        Never underestimate the power of inertia.

      • by tmosley (996283)
        Further, a mutant can choose to harm someone with their powers (and registration doesn't really do anything to stop that). An unvaccinated person can get infected and spread disease without knowing it.

        That said, I am REALLY REALLY REALLY uncomfortable with government lists in general. As much good as may be done by having such a list, I think we are better off without any government lists at all. If only that were a choice we could make.
    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:50AM (#47119335)

      Reading the comments from the antivax croud on that site makes me think that conspiracy theorists are the biggest danger to society, it's willful anti-scientific, anti-intellectualism.

      These people will gleefully sail us into the abyss, blaming everyone else all the way down.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:14AM (#47118961)

    Look, if you're a luddite and have chosen to not be vaccinated against infectious diseases, you are a public health risk.

    If I or my children get sick due to contact with you, I want legal recourse against you.

    If you are un-immunized, you really have no business going into places like hospitals where you will put the lives of others at risk.

    If you solely bore the risk of not being immunized, and only you and your family might become ill -- well, good for you, you'll take yourself out of the gene pool and do us all a favor.

    But, if you're a moron who hasn't vaccinated your children because you've been listening to Jenny McCarthy, I don't want you or your children anywhere me or my family.

    You want to be a plague carrier? Fine, but you can't go into public.

    Diseases which had been mostly eradicated which are suddenly making a resurgence are entirely due to idiots who think the vaccine is going to give them another disease. You're entitled to your stupid beliefs, but you are not entitled to spread disease.

    If you choose to exercise your right to not be immunized, you give up some of your rights as far as you could infect others.

    • by Electricity Likes Me (1098643) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:20AM (#47119037)

      Also you actively need to be kept away from other people like you.

      Unvaccinated people congregating in geographical proximity is actively a bad thing - i.e. schools need to know how many unvaccinated children (for any reason) are present since while 1 is probably fine, 10 more or less undoes herd immunity benefits for them. It has serious ramifications if any 1 presents with symptoms of something normally vaccine-preventable.

    • by Virtucon (127420)

      There's no vaccine for Plague.

    • by GT66 (2574287)

      Look, if you're a luddite and have chosen to not be vaccinated against infectious diseases, you are a public health risk.

      To who? If you take care of yourself and your own then certainly not to you since you are vaccinated.

      If you are un-immunized, you really have no business going into places like hospitals where you will put the lives of others at risk.

      I would imagine that at some point EVERY UNvaccinated person goes into a hospital. That is were the vaccinations usually happen, right?

      You want to be a

  • Misinformation? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:17AM (#47118987)

    The reasons are similar. It's based on fear and misinformation

    No, it's based on facts. It's the anti-vaxxers who operate based on misinformation.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/... [www.cbc.ca]

    A Vancouver father is calling on parents to vaccinate their children for chickenpox after his son nearly died from the disease while his immune system was compromised during chemotherapy.

    Jason Lawson's 10-year-old son Beckett has been in and out of hospital for most of his life for cancer treatment, but Lawson says one of the scariest moments came when the boy caught chickenpox from a classmate at school.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Virtucon (127420)

      You know the chickenpox vaccinations is one of those that I always thought was a bit unnecessary considering how mild it was. I guess if your fighting something else it can be a real bugger but I guess in this kid's case, Flu could have also been as deadly or a cold.

      • Re:Misinformation? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mlw4428 (1029576) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:28AM (#47119107)
        That's assuming you get it as a child. If you don't catch chicken pox as a child and you don't get a vaccination for it you could catch it as an adult. It's much more severe as an adult and the chance of complications increases, even in healthy adults.
        • I had it at 25. It wasn't that bad. Mild fever for about a day. Itched like hell though.
          • You got extremely lucky. At 25 the infection would normally have been much worst. I know someone who's basically physically handicapped and in pain for life due to nerve damage from the chicken pox virus. She went from healthy to moaning in pain all the time.
          • Re: Misinformation? (Score:4, Informative)

            by Rich0 (548339) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:01AM (#47119481) Homepage

            All diseases range in severity from individual to individual, and chicken pox and shingles are no different. Generally speaking it is worse for adults. That doesn't mean that every adult infection is guaranteed to be life-threatening, nor does it mean that a childhood infection can't kill somebody.

            It really is in the public interest to reduce the incidence of these diseases all-around. For every few hundred cases of whooping cough that cause discomfort to a teenager there could be a case that kills a 4 month old child (who is still too young to vaccinate I might add).

            Sure, the vaccines can also cause their own problems, but for any vaccine on the market the risks of side-effects and the risks of not being vaccinated are well known, and they wouldn't be on the market and on the vaccine schedules of virtually every developed nation if the one didn't greatly outweigh the other...

          • Re: Misinformation? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@NOspAM.gmail.com> on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:05AM (#47119529) Homepage

            I wish there was a vaccine when I got it at the age of 12. I've still got the scars from it. I spent 2 weeks at home, no contact with the outside world. I was violently ill for 3-4 days on top of it. My sister who is 2 years younger was roughly in the same state. Now as I get older I get to experience the "glorious" side effect known as shingles. [wikipedia.org]

      • Chicken pox becomes even more harmful at about the time you retire. A case of shingles, which anyone who carries the chickenpox virus can get, can ruin your dreams of travel and adventure.

      • That's the one where the older you get, the worse it is. I've never been clear on why that is, but if you didn't have it as a kid or get immunized for it and then contract it as an adult, it's a serious problem.

      • by mellon (7048)

        Chicken Pox can be pretty deadly if you get the live virus as an adult.

      • by onkelonkel (560274) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:13AM (#47119617)
        The same virus that cause chicken pox in kids will lurk in your body for decades and can come back and give you Shingles. For seniors it can cause nerve damage and crippling pain, even blindness if you are very unlucky. Chicken Pox may not seem like a big deal, but trust me you do not want Shingles.
    • When my little brother got the chicken pox his temperature got up to 107. He was covered with them and had them down his throat. He couldn't eat or drink and was rushed over to the emergency room. They had to push lots of fluids and they said he could have died if they waited till the next morning to bring him in. Chicken pox can be VERY serious and deadly. VACCINATE!
  • Try registering your kids for public school or enroll in a college in the US and you'll find that you have to have vaccination records. Many states also have public health laws [cdc.gov] that require doctors/nurses to keep records or notify the state when a patient has had a specific vaccine. If you're in the healthcare industry you also are tracked at a statewide level on your vaccination history.

  • False Comparison (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrbene (1380531) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:19AM (#47119017)

    Sure, the fundamentals are similar - building a list of people who are threats to the health of the rest of the population.

    But, while super/mutant power are generally something innate and unselected, not getting vaccinated is, by and large, a choice.

    If you are making a choice to ignore what science has earned human society, and that choice is putting other people at risk, get on the list.

    Additionally, if I could not get vaccinated against something for some specific medical reason, I'd want to be on a list to be notified in case of an outbreak, so that I could lock myself away until it passed.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:19AM (#47119019)

    Go for a little walk, breathe some fresh air.

  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:20AM (#47119033) Homepage

    How did this get on the front page? Comparing vaccination registrations with mutant registration? A remotely educated person would have at least tried to compare it to the real-life events that inspired the idea of "mutant registration", which were the treatment of Jews in Europe and of the Japanese in the US during WW2.

    And this:

    It's based on fear and misinformation. People fear that unvaccinated people will doom us all. Sound familiar? The difference is this is real. (Oh, and they probably won't use sentinels to track down the dangerous unvaccinated folks.)

    Is this a joke? Is the suggestion that they won't use sentinels sarcastic?

    And it's not "fear based on misinformation", it's fear based in real risk. When large numbers of people refuse to get vaccinated from serious infectious diseases, they're putting everyone else in the population at greater risk of infection.

    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:33AM (#47119147) Homepage Journal

      " which were the treatment of Jews in Europe and of the Japanese in the US during WW2"
      Talk about two vastly different levels.

      The treatment of Americans of Japanese descent in the US was shameful.
      The the treatment of the Jews by Nazi Germany was a Holocaust.

      The sad thing is that treatment of Americans of Japanese descent has become so politicised that much of the history about it has been rewritten and many of the triggers are not taught because of fear that people will be accused of trying to justify it.

      • I wasn't saying those two things were equivalent. I'm saying that both helped to inspire the whole "mutant registration" thing in the X-Men. I'm surprised to encounter controversy.
  • This is a sensible public health policy and a perfectly appropriate response to recent outbreaks, for example of measles in Calgary. But let's not let that get in the way of invoking poorly contrived analogies and imply that the government will harvest unvaccinated people for their superpowers. I wonder what Michele Bachmann's superpower is?
  • Registry checklist: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jpvlsmv (583001) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:29AM (#47119113) Homepage Journal

    I'm trying to keep track of what kind of registries are acceptable for each (US) political party

    No Fly Registry: It's Our Patriotic Duty (D&R)
    Gun Owner Registry: Acceptable for (D), Unacceptable for (R)
    Legal-to-work-in-US Registry: Acceptable for (R), Unacceptable for (D)
    National ID card: Acceptable for (D), Unacceptable for (R)
    Vaccination Registry: Acceptable for (D), Unacceptable for (R)
    Superhero Registry: It's Our Patriotic Duty
    Mutant Registry: Ditto
    Windows Registry: Can't run Windows without it, and what else would you run?

  • I'd suppose the key difference between these stories, is one is a voluntary choice, one is something you are born as, and yeah I think a better analogy for fear mongering would be countries that make people register religions etc...
  • If we're really serious about this, governments and health agencies need to offer a variety of vaccines for a given disease, with different adjuvants, egg-free versions, etc, to accomodate those who have a nasty reaction to the most popular formulations. Then, offer people the choice between vaccine and quarantine.

    Then again, this world is getting awfully overpopulated, and maybe we're due for another major culling, cold-hearted and horrible as that may sound...

  • If I knew that specific neighborhoods were mostly populated with people who were unvaccinated, I could avoid going there. They could still have their privacy and I could have my health. While they may feel that they are better off facing the diseases that they refuse vaccination against, some of us have more to lose by contracting some of those illnesses.
  • The nazi's made the Jewish do registration and later the rounded them up and took them to camps.

  • by inhuman_4 (1294516) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:05AM (#47119537)
    As a Canadian I'm shocked that the government doesn't already do this. I alway just assumed that when I went to the hospital the medical staff could look up what shots I've had, what I'm allergic to, and any major surgeries I've undergone.

    As a side note. I think this a good idea. I sure as shit don't want someone who isn't vacinated wandering around a hospital war full of people who's immune system is compromised.
  • by ildon (413912) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:11AM (#47119595)

    This is the most insane, paranoid thing I've ever seen posted on Slashdot. And that's saying a lot.

  • I cannot remember when I had my last tetanus shot, and my doctor's records don't show it. I, for one, would welcome a national registry that could keep better records than me and my doctor.

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake

Working...