Disappearing Diseases

A common argument of those who push non-standard, parent-selected, delayed protection vaccine schedules is that kids are no long at risk for many vaccine-preventable diseases any more because those diseases have disappeared.

After all, when was the last time you saw polio or diphtheria in the United States?

How about measles, mumps, or pertussis? Oops. That’s right, although most vaccine-preventable diseases are under good control, since they are still common in other parts of the world and are just a plane ride away, we do still have outbreaks here.

And while the risk of getting a disease is small when almost every one else is vaccinated, that risk starts to go up as more and more people choose to skip or delay their vaccines. The ‘hide in the herd’ plan might have worked when Dr. Bob Sears first published his books about vaccines, but it doesn’t anymore as more and more unvaccinated families cluster together, leading to these outbreaks we continue to see on an ever increasing basis.

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