Mandatory Vaccination in Measles Outbreaks
You are the chief public health
officer in a province of Spain. One day, a pediatrician tells you about a 13-year-old who is suspected to have measles. The child and his family attended a wedding the week before. Within 10 days, six more people who also attended the wedding were diagnosed with measles and nine secondary cases are confirmed. Of the secondary cases, seven were thought to have been exposed at school and two were in the hospital emergency ward.
1. What are the values, ethical principles, and rights that come into conflict in this case? If it is not possible to respect all of them, how should they be prioritized?
2. Is the decision to allow unvaccinated children to attend the school justified?