Vaccination isn’t a personal choice; it’s a choice you impose on others. NPR has an article entitled Vaccine Refusals Fueled California’s Whooping Cough Epidemic.
Apparently they tracked of whooping cough to times and places with high numbers of personal belief vaccination exemption applications:
They found that people who lived in areas with high rates of personal belief exemptions were 2 1/2 times more likely to live in a place with lots of pertussis cases.
Also, according to the story, when a community drops below a 95% vaccination rate, the community loses herd immunity and this exposes vulnerable elements of the population — infants for example — to the disease.
This sort of thing illustrates another limitation on the individual model of citizenship. For a great many issues, viewing the citizenry as nothing more or less than a bunch of discrete individuals and shaping policy accordingly is appropriate. But there are also plenty of cases where the consequences of individual choices are imposed on others in a way that the law is not equipped to address very well.
If my infant incurs thousands of dollars in medical bills to treat whooping cough because a critical mass of Oprah watching, Jenny McCarthyite antivaxxer moms decided to deprive the community of herd immunity; who do I sue?