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Do you think it's wrong to opt out of vaccinations? (revisited)

Below is an excerpt from NPR's This American Life with Ira Glass. It is from a December 2008 episode titled Ruining It For The Rest Of Us. I already made this point in a previous Vaccination question, but I wanted to re-raise it.

"Measles cases are higher in the U.S. than they've been in a decade, mostly because more and more nervous parents are refusing to vaccinate their kids. Contributing Editor Susan Burton tells the story of what happened recently in San Diego, when an unvaccinated 7-year-old boy returned home from a trip to Switzerland, bringing with him the measles. By the end of the ordeal, 11 other children caught the disease, and more than 60 kids had to be quarantined."

 
beckcorc

Asked by beckcorc at 9:25 PM on Feb. 1, 2009 in General Parenting

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This question is closed.
Answers (33)
  • An interesting fact that many on CM don't seem to be aware of is that only 75-80% of people who've been vaccinated actually build up an immunity to the disease. Since for the past 20+ years virtually everyone has been vaccinated that meant that more than 3/4 of the population was immune. That's a high enough rate to prevent out breaks. Now that many are choosing not vaccinate, the rates aren't always high enough to prevent out breaks. That means that no only are unvaccinated children in danger of becoming infected, my vaccinates son has a 1 in 4 chance of getting sick as well. 

    MAUREEN55

    Answer by MAUREEN55 at 9:40 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • Did anyone die? Did anyone suffer from anything severe? Was it cured? If so, Then it doesn't matter.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:27 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • I don't think anyone should judge other parents on what they think is best for their children. It's not against the law to not vaccinate your children so I think parents should just leave the worrying to their own families and not anyone elses.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:29 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • ?? It really doesn't matter. I don't vaccinate because as a general rule, vaccines are bad for people. They attack the immune system, nervous system and we are seeing a new crop of autoimmune diseases that some doctors suggest may be a genetic "consequence" of immunization mutating peoples dna. So, I choose measles over mutation.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:30 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • The reason i am so for vaccinations is because of just this... all it's going to take is a couple kids to travel somewhere contract one of these PREVENTABLE diseases and we could end up with an epidimic...my son is and will always be up to date on his shots...
    JuLiAnSmOmMy317

    Answer by JuLiAnSmOmMy317 at 9:32 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • i guess I'll have balls and be the only one without an anonymous answer! i personally believe in vaccinations. they are there to help people. i dont see why anyone would not want them when they are proven to be beneficial, and there is no actual link to autism. but on that note, i think it is everyones choice. i dont look down on anybody for not using them, that is their decision not mine. but i personally will always have my children vaccinated. i couldnt live with myself if they died from a disease that i could have prevented.
    Amanduhpanda

    Answer by Amanduhpanda at 9:33 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • My point is that it doesn't just affect their families. What about the other people that suffer for the self satisfaction of these parents? Does it matter is no one died? It was preventable and these parents are directly responsible for all of these kids getting ill. What if they didn't have health insurance? Plus if you had to be quarantined for God knows how long, can you be sure you'd have a job when you came out? What about the stress and the burden it puts on these families? and again the immune compromised such as new borns and the elderly? Or people on Chemotherapy or other medications that suppress the immune system? We are fortunate enough to live in a modern developed nation, why should we live like we are a third world country?
    beckcorc

    Answer by beckcorc at 9:34 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • I'm not saying I look down on anyone, I am just trying to throw out a counter argument to those who laugh at the idea of this being a public health issue and that it is not just a personal family issue.
    beckcorc

    Answer by beckcorc at 9:36 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • Very interesting point Maureen55. I was not aware of that fact either. Where did you get that info from? (Just curious, if i repeat it I want to back it up :) )
    beckcorc

    Answer by beckcorc at 9:42 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • As far as no one dying from measles. True, a healthy child with a normal immune system would probably not die of measles. But what about people with compromised immune systems, or newborns, or the elderly? If we become a non-vaccinated society then these groups would be in constant danger of suffering greatly from and possibly dying from diseases that are essentially preventable.  Also consider a Polio outbreak.  Would we all be saying "look everyone is fine" after 100 children caught Polio?

    MAUREEN55

    Answer by MAUREEN55 at 9:43 PM on Feb. 1, 2009