Riley Geyer

Most people agree that vaccination is important; it prevents the spread of illness by exposing your body to a mild version of the bacteria or virus so that you can begin to produce antibodies for if you come into contact with the disease in the future.

Lately, some states such as New York and Washington have proposed legislation requiring certain vaccines. Many begin to question if this is ethical, or even legal. In Ohio, school children are required to get vaccinated, but they may be given an exception for religious or personal reasons. Some states have altogether gotten rid of this option for a religious exception, like California. Vaccination exclusion day is in late February for most cities and unvaccinated children will often be taken out of school if they don’t have the proper immunization requirements.

Some argue that vaccination is a personal choice, and children should not have to be vaccinated to attend public schools. However, vaccination as a system works best if most people are vaccinated. This concept is called Herd immunity. According to, herd immunity means that when a “critical portion” of a population is vaccinated against a contagious disease it is unlikely that an outbreak of the disease will occur so most members of the community will be protected.

The debate is not necessarily over whether or not vaccines are beneficial- but whether or not the government has the right to enforce this. LHS senior Sara Bitter feels conflicted. “I know that vaccination is important and that it truly works, but if someone believes otherwise, should we require them to be vaccinated?”