There is a growing number of people who believe that vaccinations are bad.

A debate has begun to take shape over the constitutionality of the government being able to force parents to be vaccinated.

Senator Rand Paul recently expressed his opposition to this idea. In a congressional hearing on the vaccination question, he said, “I still do not favor giving up on liberty for a false sense of security … I’m not arguing vaccines are a bad idea; I think they’re a good thing …

The state doesn’t own your children. Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom.”

That is the crux of the debate: Do vaccine mandates jeopardize our constitutional rights to personal liberty? Or does the public health risk outweigh this claim?

Many parents are not allowing their children to be vaccinated, despite the lack of evidence to support their claim that vaccines are dangerous.

In Rockland County, New York, 44 students were prevented from attending their schools due to not being vaccinated.

There is an outbreak of measles in the area. The county health department denied the students from attending school fearing that the unvaccinated students would help make the measles outbreak worse.

Now their parents are suing the health department. They say that none of their children have contracted measles since last fall. In response, they sued the school. However, the judge upheld the health department’s decision. The judge justified his decision by saying that the situation warranted such because this is an “unprecedented measles outbreak.”

Last year, according to the Center for Disease Control — over 80 percent of children who died of the flu were not vaccinated.

Despite the fact that measles was deemed as no longer a public health risk in the year 2000, they have returned.

Reading information online, many parents have not had their kids vaccinated, which, in turn, has brought about the return of measles.

There have been 228 individual cases of measles in 12 states this year.

Mumps and whooping cough have also been on the rise in the past few years, according to the CDC.

It is possible that parents have relaxed because they think the diseases have been completely eradicated; however, they are returning.

Some sites online claim that vaccines cause autism. This has been debunked by many studies — including a recent study of 650,000 children in Denmark.

The anti-vaccine crowd also claim that the vaccines don’t work. In very rare cases this is true; however, most of the vaccines have a 99 percent success rate.

From 2009 to 2015, over 150,000 illnesses and 9,000 deaths were attributable to people who were not vaccinated.

The science very clearly shows that not vaccinating children puts others at risk.

However, the issue is not so clear-cut. Do the risks of failing to vaccinate outweigh concerns to personal liberty?

People like Senator Rand Paul don’t think so.

What do you think?

Let us know. Comment below.