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Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration 493

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.
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Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

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  • Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:11AM (#47118945)

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:14AM (#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.

  • Misinformation? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:17AM (#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. []

    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.

  • False Comparison (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrbene ( 1380531 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:19AM (#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 @10:19AM (#47119019)

    Go for a little walk, breathe some fresh air.

  • Re:NO. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:19AM (#47119029) Homepage

    The government has NO RIGHT to know what will and won't make me sick.

    Except when what can make you sick, can make others sick or even kill them.

    If you want the ability to walk around un-immunized and risk your life, maybe you should have to accept civil and criminal liability in the event someone else gets sick.

    Because if you being un-immunized causes people to die, and you knew that was a possibility, well, sounds like manslaughter to me.

  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:20AM (#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 Electricity Likes Me ( 1098643 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:20AM (#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.

  • Re:Misinformation? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Virtucon ( 127420 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:21AM (#47119047)

    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:NO. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:26AM (#47119085) Homepage Journal

    Slashdot you really need add a +1 crazy to the moderation levels.
    Someone might actually enjoy reading the nut jobs on Slashdot.

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

    by mlw4428 ( 1029576 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:28AM (#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.
  • by josquin9 ( 458669 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:29AM (#47119111)

    No, you're mistaken. An active outbreak of a disease increases the likelihood of mutation, which may create a strain that cannot be contained by the current vaccine. Even if the vaccinated will not catch the current iteration of the disease, they may be susceptible to whatever new horror results from giving this iteration free reign to evolve into something more deadly.

  • by thevirtualcat ( 1071504 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:30AM (#47119127)

    There are valid medical reasons that some people can't get immunized. (Allergies, compromised immune systems, etc.) Those people benefit from herd immunity.

  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:33AM (#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.

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

    by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:42AM (#47119245)

    Based on what science, exactly?

    I'm 47. When I was a kid there was no pox vaccine - When my brother caught it he had the pox everywhere - Inside his mouth, on his tongue, genitals. He lay in a dark room crying for a week in pain, with terrible headaches, with my parents up at night with nothing they could do. Why on EARTH would you subject a kid to that, when with one jab you're protected?

    That's child abuse.

    Even with milder cases I have friends today who are still scarred from scratching from the terrible itching when they were kids.
  • Re:NO. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:43AM (#47119257)

    The government has NO RIGHT to know what will and won't make me sick.

    On the contrary, the government has every right to assure you are vaccinated. Your ignorant and paranoid refusal to be vaccinated threatens the health of others. The threat you pose if you are not vaccinated is not some misguided rant of a paranoid, but a real and present medical danger.

    If you do not want to get vaccinated, then go live in complete isolation, far, far away from those who want their children to be healthy. The moment you choose to interact with society, then you have a responsibility not to make that society sick.

  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:47AM (#47119309)

    The point still stands. If it's not 100% then someone who is immunized can catch and STILL give it to you. Thus both immunized and non-immunized pose the same threat to you.

    The point only stands if you pretend that there's no real difference between an unimmunized person and a immunized person with 0.3% chance of catching the disease, and if you ignore the science behind herd immunity.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mellon ( 7048 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:49AM (#47119325) Homepage

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

  • by MiniMike ( 234881 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:49AM (#47119329)

    You're forgetting that many people can not be immunized- babies, some elderly, people with compromised immune systems, people with other conditions. etc. These are the people who are most threatened. This threat is in addition to those mentioned in the other comments about mutations, and vaccinations not being 100% effective.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:50AM (#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 Rich0 ( 548339 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:55AM (#47119389) Homepage

    The only problem with your logic is that if you are immunized then the un-immunized people don't pose a threat against you. That's the point of you being immunized. So your argument is pretty much moot...

    Vaccinations are not 100% successful. We rely on everyone having the vaccinations so the chance of ever even being exposed to the pathogens is very remote.

    In addition to this, with enough vaccination it becomes possible to eradicate a disease entirely. Today nobody has to take Smallpox vaccine and suffer the side effects of it (as an older vaccine it has quite a few). We wouldn't be free of the vaccine today if everybody didn't take it like they were supposed to decades ago.

  • Re:NO. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:56AM (#47119403)

    Whats that? My idea is insensitive and wrong, but yours is ok?

    Yes. My neighbor's HIV/AIDS status is none of my business because I don't have sex with my neighbor. My neighbor's abortion history is none of my business because abortions are not contagious. But my neighbor's vaccination record for measles and polio IS my business because those are contagious diseases that can spread through a community.

  • Re:NO. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:59AM (#47119447)

    I want to see a registration of all people with HIV/AIDS, with criminal penalties if you fail to register, after all they can kill you.

    You won't get HIV/AIDS by casual contact with someone. You might get one of these things not being vaccinated.

    Lets also have a list of all women who have had abortions, again with criminal penalties for failing to register, after all they have already killed.

    You say killed, I say removed unwanted tissue growth.

    Possibly something your mother should have done.

  • by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <atd7.cornell@edu> on Thursday May 29, 2014 @11:01AM (#47119473) Homepage

    In addition, in many cases, even if the vaccine is not fully effective, a vaccinated individual is likely to have a less severe infection and stay contagious for a shorter period of time.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @11:03AM (#47119499)
    [sarcasm]Yes because I catch STDs all the time by being in the same room as someone who has one. Measles, whooping cough, polio, etc. on the other hand are never transmitted by casual contact.[/sarcasm]
  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @11:03AM (#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 inhuman_4 ( 1294516 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @11:05AM (#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 @11:11AM (#47119595)

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

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hamburger lady ( 218108 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @11:24AM (#47119759)

    You should be able to go to a government web site and enter a persons name to check and see if they have vaccinations, STDs, etc.

    nobody as far as i know is advocating a publicly-accessible database here, are they? we already have large data stores full of patient information and i still am not able to look up my neighbor's medical records on the internet.

  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GT66 ( 2574287 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @11:30AM (#47119833)
    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: []

    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 thought they were receiving free health care from the U.S. government.

    http://www.scientificamerican.... []

    Few mourn the man responsible for the slaughter of many thousands of innocent people worldwide over the years. But the operation that led to his death may yet kill hundreds of thousands more. In its zeal to identify bin Laden or his family, he CIA used a sham hepatitis B vaccination project to collect DNA in the neighborhood where he was hiding. The effort apparently failed, but the violation of trust threatens to set back global public health efforts by decades.

    I'll let the rest of you decide where you think a national registry coupled with the laws of unintended consequences and human nature are bound to lead such a project.

  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday May 29, 2014 @01:18PM (#47120999) Homepage Journal

    A national registry, an abuse of a vaccine program are not the same thing.
    Both of those events were appalling.

    Ironically, a national database of people vaccine would have prevented both those things.

  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @01:43PM (#47121243)

    My great-grandfather had fully webbed feet; my father and grandfather have partially webbed toes. Tell me again how mutants aren't real.

    In the context of the article and the summary, mutants that are being discussed are in the X-Men comic book type mutants which have superpowers. Yes, technically speaking, mutants exist today: red haired individuals, dwarves, intersexxed, blue eyes, etc. Web feet falls into this category. These is not what the poster is talking about. Congratulations on either not understanding context or not bother reading the first few lines of the anything.

    And since unvaccinated people have existed as long as the species has, it's pretty clear they cannot "doom us all".

    You are aware that antibiotics are slowly becoming useless when it comes to fighting diseases right? Overuse and resistant strains may mean that in the future, vaccines will be one of the few effective ways of dealing with some diseases. The unvaccinated will cause major problems and my doom us all.

    Good job of expressing the know-nothing authoritarian viewpoint so popular on the Internet these days! Mike Godwin needs to come up with a new law - something like "in any Internet forum there is a 100% probability that overly simplistic authoritarian responses to complex propositions will be voted insightful by self-appointed experts

    Good job of not understanding or reading or thinking about what is being discussed.

  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @03:01PM (#47122127)

    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 the CDC fluffs flu death numbers by including all cases of pneumonia in their results, we don't know how many people the influenza virus actually kills each year. The total number of deaths for all strains of influenza AND pneumonia is around 20,000. So you are at least 4 times more likely to die driving to work than by catching influenza, and since most cases of pneumonia are caused by a URI I'm guessing it's more in line with death by bee sting.

    I say this as a person who's grandfather died in the 1940s due to complications from influenza, so I have an interest on many levels. The "Flu" vaccine is still of very questionable benefit. That's not a claim that they are "bad", or "evil" or any of the other conspiracy nonsense people talk about. It's a rational decision based on numbers provided by medical professionals, CDC, and HHS. I also happen to be a veteran who has received many more vaccines than the average person, and for mission theaters (EU/South American/Asia, yeah I got lucky and was in all 3) I received more vaccines than a lot of other veterans and soldiers.

    You can choose your fate as easy as I can, and I take no issues with you choosing to get any vaccine possible. I would never make a false claim that Polio is the same thing as influenza, and I hope you realize that what you are implying is incorrect (and perhaps unintentional).

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents