Photo Credit: Sign Of The Times
While Kentucky state school and health officials are working to contain the chickenpox outbreak, there are students who are avoiding vaccines and making the situation even worse. The officials reacted with banning unvaccinated students from attending extracurricular events and ultimately from school.
One high school student filed a suit against the Northern Kentucky Health Department stating that he and his parents always avoided vaccines because of theirs conservative Catholic faith. “Among other fundamental and deeply held religious beliefs of Mr. Kunkel, and the beliefs of his family, is that the use of any vaccine that is derived from aborted fetal cells is immoral, illegal and sinful,” the suit reads, as Patheos reports. So he is not declining vaccination because he thinks vaccines are harmful but because he believes that they contain dead fetal tissue. Although a modern chickenpox vaccine does not contain any fetal tissue at all, cell lines derived from a pair of aborted fetuses were used for developing vaccines in the 1960s.
The anti-vaxx movement is one of the top threats to global health in 2019, according to World Health Organization, because their refusal to vaccinate has larger negative impact to others who are not protected. The first case of chickenpox at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Elementary School, which was detected in mid-February, alerted the Northern Kentucky Health Department. Kentucky officials reacted to protect vulnerable students by informing the pa that students who were not vaccinated or already immune could not attend school and that all school extracurricular events would be cancelled until 21 days after the last person to have chickenpox had their onset of rash. According to The Independent, officials at the school did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday. But the Health Department defended its response to the outbreak. The action, the department said in its statement, was “in direct response to a public health threat and was an appropriate and necessary response to prevent further spread of this contagious illness.”
The idea to avoid vaccines because of religious beliefs could eventually turn out to be extremely dangerous because people could die from otherwise preventable diseases. This is just another example of people trying to push their religious beliefs in front of the welfare of the people around them. Under the excuse of freedom to practice religion and follow their beliefs some people impact others in negative ways and it looks like they are not even aware of the consequences. On the other hand, they may be aware but they are selfish enough not to think about the lives of others and going even further by suing those who are trying to protect the health of people.