Share your ideas for a better future

Vaccination: How do we balance freedom of choice and public welfare?

Vaccines are one of the greatest public health achievements in history - they have helped save countless lives. Smallpox has been eradicated; polio is on its way out. Many public authorities across the world have made childhood vaccination mandatory, to speed up the elimination of life-threatening illnesses. Yet more and more people are fighting the idea of vaccinations.


What is the role of social media in this?

How can we ensure that the choice not to vaccinate is based on fact-checked information?

How should public authorities tackle the tricky challenge of respecting individual choices, while safeguarding public health? How can we stop this misinformation campaign?


Find more resources from the European Parliament Research Service (EPRS).


Doctor giving an injection to a patient
Image courtesy of Hyttalo Souza on Unsplash


What do you think?

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Anssi Eboreime
04 September 2019

Public health affects everyone. Vaccines are necessary and in this personal views are not very important. If we do not outright make them mandatory then we must follow the example set by Australia and set some sort of limits to those who do not vaccinate, like limit access to care. Those not vaccinated pose a danger not only to themselves but also to the weakest in our communities. Although it should be allowed for people to request tests prior to vaccination as to whether they have hypersensitivity/allergy if they so wish.

Kíra Dolmány
06 November 2019

In my opinion, vaccines are life saving (so I agree with Anssi). I do not understand though, why so many parents decide not giving the “essential” vaccines for their children.
Nowadays, the individual choice is becoming more emphasised, the thirst for freedom is increasing too rapidly, for instance in the question of gender, style and studiing. Individual choice mean deciding in a topic in your own for yourself. When it comes to the topic of vaccination, at a young age individual choice does not exist: the young children cannot decide if they want to have a vaccination or do not, or even do not know what a vaccination is. In my opinion the parent cannot decide in this case behalf the young person, because it is an other human beings frame and life. If something happens with an unvaccinated kid in young age, can the parent (who decided behalf them) even deal with the problem? I think it is a lot of responsibility the parent should take, because by not giving the appropriate vaccine, they risk their own childrens life.
In my opinion, the vaccination for young people should be maternity in all countries.