This article provides discussion on the recent findings that daycare facilities associated with Silicon Valley have lower than average vaccination rates. This means that employees of the companies in the Silicon Valley (such as Google and Apple) are choosing to not vaccinate their children as much as the national average. This finding is actually very surprising considering this area of California and the companies that are located in Silicon Valley have employees that are very intelligent.
The large ethical issue in this debate is about the potential harm that can be done to other children in the day care as a result of the non-vaccinated children. “Herd-immunity” is the idea that a population of individuals can become immune to certain disease as long as all procreating individuals are vaccinated. Once a number of individuals do not become immunized they become vectors for transporting the disease and destroy the “herd immunity”. So, is there a moral obligation to all parents to vaccinate their children so that they do not put other children at risk of developing the disease? Some would venture to say yes, BUT that would be very paternalistic and utilitarian. (forcing someone to do something because it is for their own good and it will benefit a lot more than those who would be “potentially harmed”)