Before 2020, people generally considered vaccines to be a mundane tool of medicine. School children in Ontario are required to have a whole set of vaccines. Travellers had to be immunized to visit certain countries. I myself had to take a host of vaccines to immigrate to the USA. I did not feel at the time that the USA infringed upon my personal liberty.
Fast track to 2021. Vaccines now are widely controversial. In the USA, I have observed that part of the controversy involves political differences. But there are also medical and epidemiological reasons too. For example, some believe that natural immunity is better than vaccine immunity. In Canada, the controversy has less heat and seems to centre on the idea of vaccine passports. People feel that if they decide not to vaccinate, then they should have equal freedom to visit restaurants as those who are vaccinated.
I will say a few things about this below, but my point here is to explore the question of whether or not vaccines are good. I do not intend to discuss every point of controversy that surrounds the use or non-use of vaccines. I primarily want to ask and answer the question of whether or not vaccines in general are natural goods.
In short, here is my argument. No one should be forced to take a vaccine, but everyone should recognize the natural good that medicine is. “The farmer knows just what to do, for God has given him understanding” (Isa 28:26). By the light of nature, he teaches the medical researcher too. [Read more…] about Are Vaccines Good?