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."
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.
Answer by MAUREEN55 at 9:40 PM on Feb. 1, 2009
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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?
Answer by MAUREEN55 at 9:43 PM on Feb. 1, 2009