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Medicine Canada Government Privacy United States

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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  • Registry checklist: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jpvlsmv ( 583001 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:29AM (#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?

  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:35AM (#47119165)

    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?

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

    by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashiki.gmail@com> on Thursday May 29, 2014 @11:05AM (#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]

  • by professionalfurryele ( 877225 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @11:05AM (#47119539)

    If I present to you two pills. Both have been exposed to ebola but one has been put into a chamber which is linked to a computer. 97% of the time when I hit the enter key on the computer the chamber is flooded with gamma radiation killing every living thing in there. I hit the enter key, remove the pill and give both to you. I now through some form of compulsion require you to take one of the pills. Which one are you going to take?

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by crmarvin42 ( 652893 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @01:02PM (#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:5, Interesting)

    by virtualXTC ( 609488 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @01:16PM (#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.

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.