Most people get vaccinated because those vaccines have the direct benefit of reducing their risk of getting a life-threatening vaccine preventable disease. Protecting those who can’t get vaccines is a secondary benefit.
A secondary benefit that anti-vax folks go to great lengths to convince themselves isn’t real and justify their decision to leave their kids unvaccinated and unprotected..
Getting Vaccinated to Protect Those Who Can’t Get the Vaccines
Of course, none of their explanations really hold water.
None of the vaccines that are routinely used on the CDC immunization schedule are a risk if you are around kids with cancer or other immunodeficiencies, except for FluMist and those with severe issues, like being in a bone marrow transplant unit.
One of the biggest misconceptions though, is that in getting vaccinated, parents are putting their own kids at great risk to protect someone else.
Of course, that’s not true.
Remember, vaccines are safe, with few risks.
That why the analogy of setting their own kids on fire to keep others warm doesn’t make any sense.
After all, unlike vaccinating their own child, setting their child on fire offers them no benefit!
And they should understand that the one and only reason that their kids don’t get more vaccine-preventable diseases in this dog eat dog world is because the vast majority of us vaccinate and protect our kids.
Herd immunity is indeed real. In addition to protecting those who can’t be vaccinated, it protects the free-riders, those who just don’t want to get vaccinated.
What about the idea that it is unrealistic for folks who are immunocompromised to expect that they can lead normal lives and avoid infections?
While it is true that there are other infections out there besides those that are vaccine-preventable, wouldn’t you want to at least reduce those risks that you can?
But could it be, as much as they seem to believe in shedding, that they think they are being altruistic in not vaccinating their kids?
In most cases, there are no restrictions on vaccinating people who have contact with those with immune system problems.
What about the idea that vaccines cause cancer?
That isn’t true. In fact, there are several vaccines that prevent cancer!
What other misconceptions do they have?
Let’s look at those last few issues…
- vaccines are not associated with autism
- vaccines aren’t perfect, but they do work very well
- vaccines do help those with immune system problems, sometimes directly and more often because of herd immunity
- people who have cancer are often vaccinated before they have chemo, but that protection gets wiped out during treatment and they can’t get caught up until after they have completed all of their treatments
- kids with cancer might get some vaccines, but typically don’t get live vaccines
What about the idea that your unvaccinated child isn’t sick, so can’t get anyone else sick?
While that is a very common argument among anti-vax parents, it is very important that if your child is unvaccinated, then they are at much greater risk to catch a vaccine-preventable disease. And since you are often contagious even before you show symptoms, they might unknowingly expose many other people before they even realize that they are sick.
Hopefully you now understand it was never really a question.
That's why you get vaccinated, to protect those who can't get the vaccines!
Vaccinate and protect your kids.
If you don’t, in addition to putting them at risk to get sick, you put everyone around them at risk, including some who are at very high risk for severe complications from vaccine preventable diseases.
More on Risks from Unvaccinated Kids
- Do Unvaccinated Kids Spread More Disease?
- Are Kids With Religious Exemptions Spreading Disease?
- I Don’t Have a Cookie, But I Can Still Give You Measles
- More Vaccinated vs Unvaccinated Studies
- Do More Vaccinated or Unvaccinated Kids Get Pertussis?
- Do More Vaccinated or Unvaccinated Kids Get Sick in Outbreaks?
- Can MMR Shedding Start a Measles Outbreak?
- Is My Fully Vaccinated Child at Risk from Your Unvaccinated Kids?
- How Can the Unvaccinated Spread Diseases They Don’t Have?
- Personal belief exemptions for vaccination put people at risk. Examine the evidence for yourself.
- What If You Don’t Vaccinate Your Child?
- Can vaccines cause or spread diseases?
- Can I spread whooping cough if I am vaccinated against it?
- One more time: Vaccine refusal endangers everyone, not just the unvaccinated
- Mixing unvaccinated children with vaccinated children: Whose rights prevail?
- To the Parent of the Unvaccinated Child Who Exposed my Family to Measles
- If You Choose Not to Vaccinate Your Child, Understand the Risks and Responsibilities
- The Rights of the Unvaccinated Child
1 thought on “Getting Vaccinated to Protect Those Who Can’t Get the Vaccines”
I do want to point out that the kids who are not vaccinated are not intentionally free-riding: they don’t have a choice. You didn’t say otherwise, but I want to put it out because I’m worried about the kids being blamed, when they are the victims.