Proponents of such legislation argue that to receive an immunization is not only a protection for yourself but also for everyone else. By being immunized you are ensuring that you are not a carrier of a certain virus or disease which could spread to your neighbors or greater community. If enough people are immunized, then the disease would not have a sufficient number of hosts and would eventually die out. Thus it is up to the government to make immunizations mandatory.
Opponents claim that such laws are violations of basic privacy rights and that at no time should a government mandate the public take drugs or receive certain types of treatment. Some religious denominations have theological beliefs which prohibit receiving such treatment, while others fear certain vaccines can lead to autism for children. (This belief largely stems from a 1998 study in the medical journal Lancet, which has since been refuted by most of the established medical community.)
The slippery slope argument is always a popular one when dealing with potential government mandates as well. If the government dictates all must be immunized, the argument goes, where does it end? In the United Arab Emirates for example, it is law that mothers breast-feed for two years claiming it is a duty and not an option.
Is mandating immunizations the same thing?