- Imagine you are the parent of a newborn who is too young for a Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination. A group in your community has decided not to immunize and an outbreak of Pertussis occurs and spreads rapidly throughout this group. Your infant is exposed (the library, grocery store, playground, etc…) and contracts this disease which could potentially be fatal. This has happened, and does happen, and infants as well as other immunocompromised individuals have died from this disease when it could have been prevented.
- In 1952 38,000 people contracted polio in America alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In 2012 there were fewer than 300 reported cases of polio in the entire world. With more and more parents choosing not to immunize, this number could begin to rise again.
- If you do not immunize and have never come face to face with a serious disease that is preventable by vaccine, you can thank the rest of your community for being immunized. The people who choose to immunize are the people who have kept these diseases from making a comeback in our communities. Again, with more and more people choosing not to immunize, the risk is becoming greater and greater.
- Vaccines can eradicate disease and prevent serious illness and death. Mandatory vaccination has eradicated diseases that once killed thousands of children, such as polio and smallpox. According to researchers at the Pediatric Academic Society, childhood vaccinations in the US prevent about 10.5 million cases of infectious illness and 33,000 deaths per year.
- The study that linked autism to childhood vaccines (specifically the MMR vaccine) was retracted and the study’s author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, stripped of his medical license due to fraud. Wakefield has been unable to reproduce his results in the face of criticism, and other researchers have been unable to match them.
- 75% – 94% of the population (depending on the disease) must be vaccinated to achieve “herd immunity” or “community immunity”. When herd immunity is achieved the number of immunized individuals is high enough to prevent the spread of disease through the population. This is important! In order to continue preventing the spread of serious disease that once killed thousands of people, everyone must participate as a community.
To read more about vaccines and vaccine safety check this website – https://www.vaccines.gov