Smallpox was one of the most widespread and deadliest diseases, and had existed for almost as long as human civilization has. It's estimated that by the 18th and 19th centuries the disease killed approximately 400 thousand people each year in Europe alone, not to talk about the entire world. Smallpox was responsible for an estimated 300–500 million deaths during the 20th century. The majority of them were children.
Today smallpox is gone. Completely eradicated. It will never kill a single person again (unless it gets somehow stolen from the few labs it's still preserved in.) This happened thanks to an aggressive world-wide vaccination campaign. In some cases people were even forcefully vaccinated.
This campaign has literally saved the lives of hundreds of millions of people, who would have certainly died from the disease if it still existed. Yet ask the average person if they agree with forced vaccinations, most of them would answer in the negative. They find it abhorrent. The current cultural zeitgeist is that personal choice is sacrosanct... even if it means that millions of people will die as a consequence.
Even if you ask them directly if the smallpox vaccination campaign was morally wrong, many of them will answer that yes. Even if you specifically point out how many hundreds of millions of lives the campaign has saved, they will still answer that it was morally wrong.
The most idiotic people will compare it to eugenics. It just baffles my mind how retarded and backwards that comparison is. Eugenics is the deliberate elimination of people who are seen as undesirable, in favor of other people who are seen as superior. The smallpox vaccination campaign was the exact opposite of eugenics: It tried to help save the lives of everybody, without differentiation or discrimination. It especially saved millions of people in the poorest countries in the world, who were most vulnerable to the disease. How on Earth can this be called "eugenics", when it's the polar opposite? Wouldn't allowing the weak to die to the disease be more eugenics than trying to save them? This just baffles me to no end.
The world was lucky in that the smallpox vaccination campaign happened at the exact right time: We had developed an effective vaccine, we had the means to deliver the vaccine effectively to the entire world and, most importantly, the modern politically correct social justice ideologies had yet not settled in to interfere, allowing the campaign to succeed.
Later similar campaigns have failed precisely because of that last part. The most notorious one is the campaign to get rid of polio. It almost succeeded, but then the political correctness social justice attitudes interfered... and polio is still a plague killing millions. Because of the choice of a few, millions of people, millions of children, have to suffer and either die or be crippled for life.
In fact, when I have had this conversation with people online, and when I asked them if they could, if they would go back in time and stop those forced smallpox vaccinations, they answered that yes. I was absolutely astounded. And these were not trolls, because I knew them from a long time of online interaction. This was the most horrible thing I have ever seen from otherwise nice and rational people. That they wouldn't even bat an eye to the sacrifice of literally hundreds of millions of people, just so that a few of them could retain personal choice.
And then they dare to talk about "eugenics". The hypocrisy is just astonishing. Not even Hitler killed that many people.
How many millions of people need to be sacrificed to the altar of political correctness? Why is the personal choice of a few more important than the lives of hundreds of millions of people?
Would a single person who opposes forced vaccinations stand up and take responsibility for the millions of people who die every year from diseases that could have been eradicated if it weren't for people like them? Would a single such person say "yes, millions of dead people are an acceptable price to retain freedom of choice"?
If you are such a person and you would say that, then you are worse than Hitler. And I'm completely seriously saying that.