[Editor’s Note: This opinion essay is in response to our current Big Question, which we posed to experts with different viewpoints: “Where should society draw the line between requiring vaccinations for children and allowing parental freedom of choice?”]
Society has a right and at times an obligation to require children to be vaccinated. Vaccines are one of the most effective medical and public health interventions. They save lives and prevent suffering. The vast majority of parents in the United States fully
vaccinate their children according to the recommended immunization schedule. These parents are making decisions so that the interests of their children and the interest of society are the same. There are no ethical tensions.