Note, I would not call myself "anti-vax" because I haven't yet been able to find enough conclusive evidence to be entirely convinced either way. Frankly, in the absence of double-blind placebo-controlled studies which are not performed for ethical reasons,* and without large-scale studies of potential long-term health consequences including autoimmune disease, it is difficult to reach a definite conclusion. However, I have been accused of being an "anti-vaxxer" in the past merely for mentioning, e.g., that the acellular pertussis vaccine has turned out to be less effective than hoped due to wearing off quicker and, more importantly in terms of "herd immunity," failing to prevent transmission of the disease, or pointing out that the oral polio vaccine causes polio in a small percentage of people (which is why it is no longer used in the United States and why India still has polio despite being declared "polio-free"), or that the flu vaccine is effective only about half the time at best.
I will say that vaccination is a fabulous idea in theory from the standpoint of homeopathy, where introducing a tiny amount of a disease-causing substance allows the body to mount a defense against that disease. The difference, of course, is that the ingredients in true homeopathic remedies are so diluted as to be undetectable and therefore placebo, whereas vaccines do contain a measurable, albeit small, amount of disease material - which is fine as long as you're not squeamish about violating the principle of hygiene, namely, to avoid pathogens, rather than purposely introducing them into the body.
But, we must keep in mind that germs, like drugs, are bad ["umkay"] except when they are given to you by a doctor, in which case, they are good. For example, amphetamines are "bad" if you take them even occasionally without a prescription to combat fatigue, to study, or to lose weight, but are "good" when your doctor prescribes them to you for the exact same reasons, or to your very active child on a daily basis to make him behave. In the same way, while germs are normally thought to cause disease, when injected into your body by a doctor they stimulate your immune system, making you healthier. Doctors have this power to change the very nature of a thing due to their having attended medical school, where they learned the magic incantations in Latin and obtained the White Coat of the High Priest.
So, while I am equivocal about vaccines, I am absolutely a "health freedom activist" in that I fully support the crazy, heretical notion that individuals ought to have the final authority over what happens to our own bodies including what we choose to eat, drink, smoke, snort or inject. In addition, we should be free to openly discuss those decisions and publicly express our opinions and the reasons for our choices without censorship.
At this point, no doubt someone will object that vaccination is in a different category because if a person refuses vaccines and/or encourages others to do so, they are endangering the public, whereas what you may choose to eat or drink is harming only yourself. First of all, if vaccines work and you are vaccinated, you have nothing to worry about. Then the argument shifts to, but what about immune-compromised people (such as myself) who depend upon herd immunity? Thank you for being concerned about my well-being. BTW, if you have recently received a live-virus vaccine, please stay away from me for about 3 weeks, because while you probably are not contagious to a healthy person with a normal immune system, it is possible that I could catch the vaccine virus, which is why you are also not allowed to visit the children's cancer ward.
Secondly, especially now that we have mandatory health insurance, a person's poor dietary and lifestyle choices do in fact affect everybody else. If you are smoking cigarettes and subsisting on junk food and sugary snacks washed down by soda pop, the premiums that I am being forced to pay for something that I will rarely if ever use are helping to pay for your treatment for diabetes, heart disease or lung cancer. Don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful that I finally can obtain health insurance just in case of emergencies like serious trauma, because before the ACA, nobody would insure me due to CFIDS. All I am saying is that healthcare costs due to unhealthy lifestyle are a burden on society as a whole. If "the public good" takes precedence over our freedom of choice, then let's outlaw junk food and soda pop.
While we're at it, we might as well forbid all sports that are inherently dangerous, like horseback riding, bull riding, cheerleading, gymnastics, mountain climbing, football, surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, mountain biking and motocross. And we must ban swimming pools! About 3500 people die per year from drowning, and it is the number one cause of accidental death among children ages 1 to 4, with 700 children drowning in home swimming pools every year. In addition, many illnesses can be spread through pool water despite chlorination. Is our freedom to enjoy these sports - my personal favorites being horseback riding and surfing - worth the high cost to society from the resulting injuries including sprains, fractures, concussions, brain damage, paralysis and even death?!
People die every day from a lack of blood and organ donors. Donating blood or bits of tissue won't hurt you and you can survive with just one kidney. Is your bodily sovereignty more important than the interest of the public good in saving lives?
And with regard to mandatory medication, why stop with vaccines? We could make everyone take psychiatric meds to ensure docility and prevent sociopathic behavior such as crime and religion. For that matter, if we are going to forcibly medicate people with anything (and I'm not saying that we should), in the best interests of society, IMO it ought to be birth control. The government would make science-based decisions as to who may breed, how many kids they would be allowed to have, and which pregnancies should be terminated based on fetal abnormalities.
This may sound awfully reminiscent of Nazi Germany, and it is. But to give credit where it is due, the Nazis had a very orderly, productive society with a strong emphasis on family, public health and safety, and also advanced medical research which gave rise to the modern pharmaceutical industry. The people were kept on a short leash and those who objected sent to concentration camps, but it was for their own good and the benefit of society, just like the censorship described in the Natural News article. Under that article I posed this comment, which was deleted by Disqus:
* at least, not here in the U.S., where we are told that it would be unethical to give a placebo to any of the participants, thereby depriving them of immunity against a potentially life-threatening disease. However, to my surprise, I did come across a U.S. sponsored study of the pertussis vaccine in 1992 in Italy and Sweden in which some children received different pertussis vaccines and the control group did not. The rationale was that while pertussis was considered deadly here in the U.S., vaccination rates were low in Italy and Sweden because there had been few deaths from pertussis since the 1960s despite it being a common childhood disease in those countries.