Editor:

Promoting vaccination is an important goal in public health policy. However, Covid-19 vaccination coverage in the United States is still far below the public policy goal. Vaccination may be discouraged by the incentive to “free-ride.” Referred to herein as “free-riders” in vaccination, these individuals avoid the cost associated with vaccination while benefiting from other individuals’ vaccination.

Vaccination for infectious diseases produces herd immunity, providing indirect benefit to unvaccinated individuals. As the result of herd immunity, the risk of infection for an individual depends on other individuals’ vaccination status; risk of infection generally decreases as the vaccination coverage in a community increases regardless of an individual’s vaccination status.

The free rider problem can crop up when the resource is shared by all and free to all. Like air. If a community sets voluntary pollution standards that encourage all residents to cut back on carbon-based fuels, many will respond positively. But some will refuse to make any change in their habits. If enough follow the standards, the air quality will improve, and all the residents will benefit equally, even the free riders.

Free riders can be forced to contribute to the public good, which is essentially what school-entry immunization mandates do in the case of herd immunity against vaccine-preventable diseases.

People do things for their own selfish reasons, not your reasons. Herd immunity against vaccine-preventable childhood diseases is a public good — one that is created by self-interest but cannot be maintained by self-interest. It is also a “last mile” problem: Vaccine coverage is generally very good but reaching those few who resist is difficult. Indeed, it is the last mile of herd immunity that is the most fragile, where self-interest begins to create free-riding defectors rather than pro-social contributors.

The concern of the government for the health, peace, morality, and safety of its citizens. The preamble to the U.S. Constitution cites promotion of the general welfare as a primary reason for the creation of the Constitution.

What exactly is “the common good,” ability to discern and act on what’s in our common interest depends on believing that we, as Americans, all have something in common. “We the People.”

I would argue that if you are unwilling to make the sacrifice a simple shot or wear a thin mask for the common good “We the People” you are selfish free rider, politically manipulated, misinformed and unconstitutional.

Jeff Robbins

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(8) comments

Jeff Robbins

This is hard to talk about but when I was a child ,my parents, without my consent, took away my god given freedom to die of Polio.😔

Jeff Robbins

Dave- I don't know what that drivel means. You read that on FB somewhere? I am no way liberal. I am a life long conservative Republican. A vet who served in a war zone. A 2A advocate. You attack anything you don't understand . Judging past posts you don't understand much. If you feel no responsibilities to protect yourself and others in the community that is your cross to bear. Stop projecting please?

Dave Golembewski

I suggest you wimpy liberals are ruining this country and it’s not about vaccines and masks it’s about wanting to control the Country . No Way ! No We won’t live in fear 🇺🇸 🙏

Jeff Robbins

Perhaps it is time for you to fully acknowledge the dichotomy between self-centred individualism concerned solely with one's own desires, needs, or interests. and collective well-being.

Jeff Robbins

Dave - Yes

Jeff Robbins

I got my vaccine to honor the legacy of our President Donald J Trump

President Trump has wholeheartedly endorsed getting vaccinated against COVID-19, members of his base should be trampling one another to get a shot the moment they were available, as if the jabs were deeply discounted 62-inch flat-screen TVs on Black Friday.

President Donald J. Trump and his wife, Melania, received coronavirus vaccinations in January before leaving the White House

Trump said during many random interviews that he “would recommend” getting inoculated

Trump came out, in public at rallies, and told his supporters to get their shots.

I recommend: Take the vaccines. I did it—it’s good,” he said.

Mr. Trump appeared at the CPAC political conference in Orlando, Fla.

“Everyone should go get your shot,” Mr. Trump said during the speech.

“The vaccines do work,” he said on the “John Fredericks Show,” a conservative talk radio program. “And they are effective. So, here’s my thing: I think I saved millions and millions of lives around the world. We would have had another Spanish flu.”

“And now countries are using our vaccines, and it’s tremendous,” Trump added. “It’s tremendously successful.”

Trump, who held a rally in Cullman, Alabama about 50 miles north of Birmingham, touted to rally goers that the three vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – were developed in under nine months during his presidency. He then suggested that they get the vaccine.

Trump said he knows many people personally who have died of the coronavirus and praised his administration for the role he says it played in making vaccines available earlier than expected.

“I’m very proud of it. I saved millions of lives —

Mr. Trump authorized Operation Warp Speed, the $10 billion public/private partnership to spur development and production of vaccines and bust through regulatory barriers.

Its success is the signature accomplishment of his presidency.

Those who believe Mr. Trump to be among the greatest of American presidents should honor his legacy by rolling up their sleeves.

Surprisingly huge swaths of Republicans choose not to get a lifesaving vaccine and outlets peddle all manner of misinformation about vaccines, like that they aren’t necessary and are in fact liberal plots

Dave Golembewski

Are 50% of people who choose their freedom to their own health choice free riders . How about people who already had Covid and have immunity. How about all the kids who don’t need to be jabbed . All free riders I call them free thinkers . Ps Kamala said if Donald Trump tells us to get a shot I’m not 🤣😂 I’ll follow Kamala her and Joe are free riders on the taxpayers backs . I’ll paint my Motorcycle Helmet Free Thinker 💉 No thanks if Jeff says to get the shot I’m Not 🤣😂🙏

Don Manthe

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