Vaccines are among the most important scientific discoveries in the history of medicine. They prevent diseases that once devastated populations. Polio, measles—these were dreaded words that we should no longer worry about.
But when Americans refuse vaccines, the diseases come roaring back.
Note: A small number of people can’t vaccinate because they are immune-compromised.
An unvaccinated 6-year-old from Oregon got tetanus after getting a small cut on his forehead while playing.
He was on a ventilator for a month, and had such painful muscle spasms he was kept in a dark room where health providers didn’t speak above a whisper in order to not make the spasms worse. He spent 57 days in the hospital, and 17 in rehab.
The parents had opted out of the vaccine. After the ordeal, they again chose not to vaccinate their son for tetanus.
A measles outbreak prompted the state of Washington to declare a state of emergency. New York and New Jersey have over 200 confirmed cases.
Measles is a virus that is transmitted by coughing and sneezing, and is one of the most highly infectious human diseases. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that more than 90% of “susceptible persons” will get sick if they are exposed to the virus.
Most American parents vaccinate their kids.
But the number of kids under age two who aren’t vaccinated has quadrupled over the past two decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Worse, we have pockets where 20 to 40% of kids aren’t vaccinated, which means diseases like measles have a place to proliferate.
How do vaccines provide immunity? Geek out on a simple explanation.
The anti-vaccination movement may be one of the most mind-boggling and frustrating problems facing doctors, researchers, nurses, and other health care workers.
Is it possible to convince 100% of the population that science-based decisions, like vaccinating (most) children, is safe? Or, will there always be non-believers? Let’s take a look.