More good and bad news about measles and vaccinations

By Phil Plait | June 27, 2011 12:30 pm

Reporting on the latest news about vaccinations is frustrating. For every step forward we take a step back.

1) First, the good: vaccination rate for measles in the UK has risen to its highest level in 13 years according to the UK Health Protection Agency. The rate — 90% among two-year-olds — is pretty good. I’ll note that this is for the first of two vaccinations needed; for the second dose the uptake is lower, 85%.

One bit of bad news about this is the reason behind the rate increase is thought to be due to a series of measles outbreaks in Europe. It’s an irony of life that vaccines are a victim of their own success: inoculations have been so successful in eliminating some diseases that people take for granted the diseases are gone. But they’re not gone, they’re waiting. When vaccination rates drop low enough, we see more measles. And pertussis. And the flu, and polio.

And when this happens, people get sick, and some die. A teenager in the UK recently died of measles. He had a compromised immune system, which means he relied on us, the rest of the population, to keep up herd immunity.

We failed him.

2) In Massachusetts, it is a requirement by law that children be vaccinated to enter public school. The only exceptions are due to health reasons (for example, an allergy to ingredients of vaccines) or for religious reasons. I disagree with religious exemptions when it comes to medicine — as I’ve said here and here and here– but the Massachusetts legislature is about to consider a bill that will make things much worse. The bill, if passed, will amend the previously existing law. In its entirety, the bill says:

Notwithstanding the provisions of this section a child shall, upon written request of a parent to the school, be admitted to school.

What this means is that if a parent has decided for whatever reason not to vaccinate their child, all they have to do is write a letter and the kid must be allowed to attend school. I expect the reasoning behind this bill is to allow parents more freedom, but what it will actually do is greatly increase the risk of other children at Massachusetts schools for contracting serious and potentially life-threatening diseases.

The sponsor, John Keenan (D-Salem), appears to be a public safety-conscious man, having sponsored many bills to increase public safety. Going over his record I find myself agreeing with many of his policies. But this one strikes me as a bad idea.

Harpocrates Speaks has much more on this. If you live in Massachusetts, I suggest you read his article and contact your local representative about this issue.

Tip o’ the syringe to J Thomas and Todd W.


Related posts:

- Confirmed measles cases in US tops 150
- Pertussis can kill and you can stop it
- How to be inoculated against antivax conventions
- The Panic Virus

MORE ABOUT: antivax, measles

Comments (50)

  1. I have been in contact with a legislator from Massachusetts and found out that Rep. Keenan is sponsoring the bill “by request,” meaning that he did it for a constituent but disavows it.

  2. Gordon

    We failed him.

    What’s this “we” nonsense? I haven’t been in the UK for a decade. :-P

    Even 85% is within the herd immunity zone for measles. Seems like the poor kid was failed by his own immune system and probability.

  3. Jason

    When it comes to vaccination, I am all for it. I have wondered at times if we compress the vaccines closer together than is necessary, but I have had all of my children vaccinated as needed (if not precisely on schedule). While the evidence is pretty clear that vaccines do not cause autism, it does appear that there is a correlation. I wonder if a segment of the population may harbor some factor that renders them more susceptible and vaccination may be a trigger in that percentage. Even so, the benefits to health at large outweigh the slight risks that may occur with vaccines. Let’s suppose for a moment that there is some kind of immune response (the most likely vector in my mind) between vaccines and autism. It almost certainly is a very small percentage of the population or autism would be far more widespread. Current research shows autism at 1% or so. And certainly only a fraction of that is autism from vaccinations. If some factor that renders children susceptible could be screened for and those children exempted but vaccination enforced for the remaining groups herd immunity should provide a great deal of protection. In which case instead of fighting to end vaccines we should fight to find for certain what factor is being triggered by vaccination.

  4. frankenstein monster

    On some days I wonder whether this antivax craze,and in general, the rejection of mainstream medicine, and wish to rreplace it with much cheaper woo, isn’t a part of a clever plan of some hidden supervillain(s) to usher a new dark age. The main purpose of it would be to wean people off modern medicine as a part of general regress of civilization. Science will be rendered irrelevant by making people want to replace real education with faith-based indoctrination, and by depriving it of all resources through ‘austerity measures’. The technology will be made away simply by making people too poor to afford it, and the process will be helped a little by instigating rabid technophobia, green-tinted idealization of preindustrial past, and by channeling the anger of impoverished unemployed masses to ludditism. All measures that keep the robber barons from becoming barons proper are continuously eroded, and the movement towards religious theocracy is making great inroads. The only thing that prevents me from believing in that this is a deliberate plan, is that it works too well to be created by a mere mortal.

  5. Gary Ansorge

    2. Jason

    You’re STILL ignoring all the epidemiological data that shows NO correlation between vaccines and autism, other than the average age of onset of autism and vaccine boosters. There’s much better epidemiological correlation between autism and low Vit D levels(due mostly to avoidance of the sun due to skin cancer fear). We’ve isolated several hundred genes that show a little bit of an effect on autism but so far, no single gene complex can be blamed for it.

    Gary 7
    Personally, if I had a child that was immune compromised, I would never send them to ANY school that did not have a 100 percent immunization requirement for normal children, regardless of religious proscriptions, then let the state figure out how to educate them.

  6. Digital Atheist

    I swear to “god” that I despise that whole “religious reasons” line of bull$#!+! It is long past time–especially for public health matters–for people who want to believe in sand age mythology to be told to “Get some reality!”

    My mother, and a good friend, both had polio as children because there was no vaccine for them at the time. Both, are very devout Christians, but neither would ever tell anyone to not get a vaccination because the believe “god” will keep his believers healthy.

    When it comes to children, they haven’t experienced enough to every truly know or believe if “god” exists or not. Putting them in harms way when it comes to any other matters, such as sex, drugs, (or country music imho) is outlawed regardless of “religious belief” (sarcasm font on bold!), yet when it comes to vaccinations they are given a pass, despite the fact that these diseases can kill, or at the least give them problems that will last for the rest of their lives.

    Go jump in lake ,and be damned your “religious belief”!

  7. frankenstein monster

    While the evidence is pretty clear that vaccines do not cause autism, it does appear that there is a correlation. I wonder if a segment of the population may harbor some factor that renders them more susceptible and vaccination may be a trigger in that percentage.

    shorter Jason : “evidence-shmevidence, I still think that vaccines cause autism.”

  8. ChazInMT

    Again, I urge anyone reading this who has not had a Pertussis vaccination in the last 10 years….GO GET IT!!!! No matter how old you are, I’m 48. Get the Tdap shot to cover Tetanus too. I had failed to get Tdap and just got the Tetanus shot 18 months ago after I stepped on the dreaded rusty nail, then last December, I got Pertussis, Merry Frickin Christmas. It is not something anyone should go through, coughing so hard you pull muscles in your chest and back, waking up in the middle of the night with coughing fits, some people break ribs coughing so violently. It was never diagnosed by a doctor as Pertussis, they guessed Pneumonia, it wasn’t till studied on my own that I figured out I had Whooping Cough.

  9. Richard Wolford

    Jason, there is no evidence of a correlation between vaccinations and autism. Anywhere. Ever. Please get this through your head. And thanks for vaccinating.

  10. Jose

    In Mexico it is required for every parent to show proof of vaccination to get their kids enrolled in school, there are no excuses. I think this is the best way to go, when other people are at risk, you can’t think “it is MY choice”, people need to remember they are part of society and there is no “MY decision” when it can harm other people.

  11. Adam Jacobs, the study you refered to above only compared rates of autism for those who recieved and did not recievce the MMR vaccine. No where does it say they did not recieve all there other vaccines. Did you also notice that according to the numbers they provided that the rate of autism in Denmark is about 1:10 that of ours? Denmark banned thimerosal in vaccines in 1992 (I know it’s not in the MMR).

  12. “I expect the reasoning behind this bill is to allow parents more freedom, but what it will actually do is greatly increase the risk of other children at Massachusetts schools for contracting serious and potentially life-threatening diseases.”

    Freedom. How many people has it killed today? Phil, you’re almost there; come out of the closet and proclaim it from the rooftops: When there is a conflict between libertarianism and science, science wins. Always.

  13. In other news, there was a news story today that West Virginia, one of only two states in the U.S. that only allows medical exemptions, has not reported a single case of measles this year, while so many other states have seen either isolated cases or official outbreaks.

  14. Elf Eye

    People need to look back at previous centuries to understand how serious a disease measles can be. Charles Dickens knew what measles meant. In Oliver Twist, Oliver’s master, the undertaker, finds himself doing well on account of it: “It was a nice sickly season just at this time. In commercial phrase, coffins were looking up; and, in the course of a few weeks, Oliver acquired a great deal of experience. The success of Mr. Sowerberry’s ingenious speculation, exceeded even his most sanguine hopes. The oldest inhabitants recollected no period at which measles had been so prevalent, or so fatal to infant existence; and many were the mournful processions which little Oliver headed, in a hat-band reaching down to his knees, to the indescribable admiration and emotion of all the mothers in the town” (Chapter 6).

  15. Reading things like this always frustrates me, but this is too close to home: I live in Massachusetts and my wife is being induced tomorrow night (woo!). Have we learned nothing from the recent outbreaks in the state?

    Does anyone have any idea how likely this is to pass? I’m already working on my letter…

  16. Joe

    As a staunch libertarian even I would be against this bill. And no, in reply to #10 I don’t see that as a conflict of ideas. As Phil has shown many times here, not vaccinating your kids puts OTHERS at risk as well as yourself, so you shouldn’t have the freedom to make that decision. Just as I’m against alcohol prohibition I think there should be harsh penalties for drinking and driving. There’s no conflict between freedom and science at all.

  17. Paul

    A libertarian would say that someone should be legally responsible for the harm they do to others. Sure parents, go ahead and don’t vaccinate — but if you kill someone you’re going to be sued for every penny you’ll ever make.

  18. Jason

    No, I do not believe vaccines cause autism, however I was under the impression that there were studies that still had a correlation even though a causative factor had been shown to Not exist.

  19. Josie

    I live in San Diego. I heard a radio commercial this morning saying that it is now compulsory for school kids to get immunized against whooping cough. Hooray!!

  20. When it comes to religious objections to medical care, I’m reminded of a story I once read:

    A man is washed overboard and is clinging to a piece of driftwood. He prays day and night for God to save him. A boat appears on the horizon and the man prays for God to send it his way. The boat lingers, then turns around and leaves. Then the man spots an island. The man prays for God to direct the current to pull him to the island. The island grows closer and then moves further away. Eventually the man tires, slips off the driftwood and dies. He confronts God in Heaven and asks why God didn’t save him. God responds that he sent the boat and the island but the man didn’t do anything to save himself.

    The moral of the story, for the religious folks, is that simply praying and believing in God isn’t enough. You need to take some actions yourself. (Isn’t there a religious saying about God helping those who help themselves?) Taking medicines doesn’t weaken your belief in God. After all, if you believe in God, it isn’t a stretch to say “God inspired man to create these medicines to save lives.”

    Refusing medicine that could save your life because your “religion” opposes it seems idiotic to me. Then again, I’m coming from a perspective of Judaism which holds that nearly all religious laws go out the window when a life is at stake. I could drive on the Shabbat while eating a ham and cheese sandwich if it meant I’d save a single life and no rabbi would tell me that I sinned.

  21. Looks like it’s up for review in committee tomorrow.

    If you need help finding your representative and senator, search here: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Search

  22. VinceRN

    Public schools, and indeed schools license by the government, should absolutely require vaccination. The only exemptions should be if a child is serious immune compromised, or if there is a serious allergy to a component of a vaccine.

    In the case of the allergy, that is a real, documented serious allergic reaction to a prior vaccine, vaccines could be produced without whatever component the child reacts to. It would be expensive, but worth the expense.

    In the case of the seriously immune compromised child, that child should not go anywhere near a public school. Even if everyone else were fully immunized to what we can immunize against the risks of a cold or flu would be far to great for such a child. There are a lot of other options, even private tutoring would cost less than the medical bills that the child would generate related to being in a public school.

    As for religious or other beliefs, those should be no excuse. All children should be immunized. I won;t even suggest home school unimmunized children, because if you think immunizations are bad then you probably aren’t qualified to teach even basic math to you kids.

    The absolute requirement for vaccinations in Mexico is mentioned above. Mexico is one of the most religious countries in the world and even they don;t allow a religious exemption.

    Also, as to the freedom issue, I’m very much a civil libertarian, I want to minimize government interference in just about everything. This issue, however, reflects why we have governments in the first place, that is for mutual protection. Not immunizing your kids puts your kids at risk, and makes them at least a potential danger to the community. My kids are immunized, my wife and I are immunized against more things than most people (being both in health care), and our freedom has not been affected in the least by it.

    There certainly are risks to being vaccinated, people do react, and there have been cases even of people dying from immunizations. A handful of cases out of hundreds of millions should show how incredibly safe vaccines are. And everyone should understand that the risks of not immunizing are several orders of magnitude higher.

    Of course pretty much everyone here is smart enough to know all this, we are all “preaching to the choir” here.

  23. truthspeaker

    Jason Says:
    June 27th, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    When it comes to vaccination, I am all for it. I have wondered at times if we compress the vaccines closer together than is necessary, but I have had all of my children vaccinated as needed (if not precisely on schedule). While the evidence is pretty clear that vaccines do not cause autism, it does appear that there is a correlation.

    It does? That’s news to me. Do you have evidence of this correlation?

  24. Steve

    Anti-vaxxers are just confirming survival of the fittest: unfortunately, they aren’t dying out, but their children will. Such a shame!

  25. “A libertarian would say that someone should be legally responsible for the harm they do to others. Sure parents, go ahead and don’t vaccinate — but if you kill someone you’re going to be sued for every penny you’ll ever make.”

    This demonstrates why libertarianism is wrong. That’s like saying sure, go ahead and rape my daughter and murder her, after torturing her first, just keep in mind that you will suffer the legal consequences. Even just punishment after a fair trial would, to me, not make up for the crime. Better would be for society to have safeguards in place to prevent such crimes.

  26. “The moral of the story, for the religious folks, is that simply praying and believing in God isn’t enough. You need to take some actions yourself. (Isn’t there a religious saying about God helping those who help themselves?)”

    I like the one about the guy who prays every day that God should let him win the lottery this week. After a year, he still hasn’t won. After his next prayer, a voice booms down from the heavens: “Maybe you should buy a ticket!” :-)

  27. Chris

    ScienceNews:

    Adam Jacobs, the study you refered to above only compared rates of autism for those who recieved and did not recievce the MMR vaccine.

    What comment number are you responding to? And which paper did this person reference. I have gone up and looked at the first ten comments and I can neither find “Adam Jacobs” nor a reference to any paper.

    Science News:

    Did you also notice that according to the numbers they provided that the rate of autism in Denmark is about 1:10 that of ours? Denmark banned thimerosal in vaccines in 1992 (I know it’s not in the MMR).

    Using which version of the DSM? It changed in 1994. And there is a Danish study on the difference before and after the removal of thimerosal, it is about the same as what happend in the USA after 1999:
    “Thimerosal and the Occurrence of Autism: Negative Ecological Evidence from Danish Population-Based Data”, PMID 12949291

  28. PayasYouStargaze

    @20 TechyDad

    I’ve heard a similar version of that story. In my version there was a flood and the man was sitting on his roof watching the water rising. He passes up the opportunity to be rescued by two boats and a helicopter in this version, saying “God will save me”. Eventually drowns when the flood covers his house. When he meets god, he says “I sent you two boats and a helicopter”.

    The best bit: I first heard it as a joke told to me by a Catholic priest.

  29. I just fired off an email to Carl Sciortino; I suspect phone calls are more productive, but I can’t fit that in right now. I have a solid voter turnout record in his district.

    I’m not quite as cavalier as @VinceRN about immune compromised children not belonging in school ever; I think some people may rationally accept high medical risks in return for brief social normalcy, and the situation for a severely ill child should be left up to child, parent and doctor.

  30. drFlip

    I totally agree with Gary Ansorge and Richard Wolford on the lack of causal proof between vaccinations in general and Thimerosal in particular on the one hand and the appearance of autism on the other. In numerous studies this point is made over and over and over again.

    The Dutch Health Council which is totally independent of govenrnment, big pharma or any other special interest has once again confirmed this finding in an extensive study in 2007.

    The “yet I still believe” of Jason and the misleading figures of Science News – Facebook point to a very worrisome and widespread tendency to find something or someone to blame in the face of evidence to the contrary. Please put blame where blame is due. If not one plays into the hands of big pharma and others who wilfully deceive the public.

  31. Ciaran

    Ireland may have a lot of problems but at least anti-vaccine nonsense doesn’t seem to be one of them. A few weeks ago, the Health Minister had to specifically state that vaccinations wouldn’t be affected by upcoming cuts.

  32. Nigel Depledge

    @ Jason (2 & 18) -
    The fact that there is no correlation between vaccinations and autism is how we can be sure that vaccines do not cause autism.

  33. Bebe

    18. Jason

    If there is no causative agent then the correlation isn’t terribly informative is it? It could very well be two independent events that merely appear together but have no common link. Given that autism affects about 1 in 160 children and 85% of kids are vaccinated and symptoms usually become apparent around the time of certain vaccines (MMR etc) of course there will be ‘correlations’ between kids who have autism AND were vaccinated prior to showing symptoms. It’s almost certainly just overlapping statistics.

    Interestingly enough there appears to be increasing evidence that autism (or at least some forms of autism) are actually copy number variations on genes associated with social cognition and brain development/ programmed cell death which can potentially account for the wide spectrum of disorders. Also, there are recognisable differences in the brains of children with autism and unaffected children from birth, the effects of autism just aren’t usually apparent until about 2 years or so depending on the severity.

  34. Gordon

    This demonstrates why libertarianism is wrong. That’s like saying sure, go ahead and rape my daughter and murder her, after torturing her first, just keep in mind that you will suffer the legal consequences.

    No, that wasn’t like saying that at all. Seriously, were you completely high when you typed this?

  35. -larry

    Phil, As you may (or may not) perceive from the link, not all immunizations are what they are cracked up to be. In this (linked) case, immunizations doled out for Hep B KILLED people. The Japanese government is stepping up to take responsibility for it, but the bottom line is that a lot of people would not be dead if not for this ‘vaccine’.
    I do recognize the general benefit of vaccines, and that there is low risk *when they are safe and safely administered*, but I also recognize that people have and need to be allowed some choice in there lives.
    http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/28_24.html

  36. Acleron

    35 -larry Says ‘but I also recognize that people have and need to be allowed some choice in there lives.’

    They have the need to and should be allowed to infect, maim and kill others? Finding a fault with one manufacturer does not invalidate the concept that herd immunity benefits all.

  37. @-larry

    Personally, I’d like to know a bit more about that situation. The article you linked to does not provide much in the way of details. Was it every HepB vaccine in the country? Only a certain lot? Are there other factors involved? What was the infrastructure like for testing of vaccine batches prior to distribution? Also, my guess is that this is probably a rather rare occurrence and not a simple matter of condemning vaccination programs in general.

    Bottom line: governments should do their due diligence to ensure that the vaccines that are released are as safe as possible for the populace. If there is an incident of a bad batch, pull unused doses and compensate anyone who has been injured by the bad batch, certainly, but also understand that, frightening though a bad batch may be, is should not deter people from taking appropriate measures to protect their health, their children’s health and the health of their community.

  38. Keith Bowden

    @Larry – By that reasoning, because some (“organic”) spinach, etc. had e. coli would you choose to never eat farmed vegetables again?

    @Gordon – Well, he went with an extreme and graphic comparison, but yeah, I think his point is valid. Letting children die so that the unvaccinated carriers (or their parents) can be sued is more than a little callous.

  39. réalta fuar

    @Ciaran I agree. Even the right-wing political parties here (there aren’t many others, by American standards) don’t seem to be anti-science.

  40. Makoto

    @11. Science news – Facebook page – I’m confused. You say:
    “Did you also notice that according to the numbers they provided that the rate of autism in Denmark is about 1:10 that of ours? Denmark banned thimerosal in vaccines in 1992 (I know it’s not in the MMR).”

    So.. Denmark bans MMR sooner, according to your quote. You know MMR doesn’t cause autism, also according to your quote. Yet you’re bringing it up as if it’s important? I could bring up average temperatures in Denmark compared to the US, note the difference in autism rates, then say “I know it’s not in the temperature”, and have the exact same result as your statement here.

  41. Chris

    Makoto, he actually said thimerosal was banned earlier. The funny thing is that “Science News” is responding to person and comment that does not seem to exist.

  42. PeteC

    It’s not a particularly nice observation, but I think it’s pretty true that as autism rates have climbed sharply, the number of people categorised as “slow”, “retarded”, “dummies”, “morons”, “village idiots” and so on has dropped. In the past it was accepted that some people were just slow, not at all bright, of low understanding and so on. Now they are recognised as suffering from autism. I have no data, but I have the strong suspicion that that is one factor that helps explain the rise in autism rates – more and more autistic people are being recognised as such instead of just dismissed.

  43. Buzz Parsec

    I live about a mile from Todd W, so I’m pretty sure we live in the same district and we are probably talking about the same state rep… I wrote my rep last week and he responded (very quickly, in about 3 hours!) that he agreed with my assessment of the bill, and also said he thought it had no chance of passing. Still, we need to be vigilant because sometimes these things slip through the cracks.

  44. Buzz Parsec

    PeteC @ 42, Yes, purely anecdotal, but when I think back to elementary school, there were definitely 2 or 3 kids in my grade (out of about 275 total) that would probably be classed as autistic today. Just about exactly on the 1% demographic. In those days (late 50′s, early 60′s), they were regarded as “slow learners” or “non-social” (or by us callous other kids as “retards”, even though we were told not to use that word.) Since any seriously non-functional kids in those days would almost certainly have been institutionalized, the total must have been higher.

  45. Paddy

    @2 Gordon,

    “Even 85% is within the herd immunity zone for measles.”

    Actually, it isn’t. The R0 (number of new infections from a single case in a susceptible population) for measles is 15-20, meaning that you want immunity to be at 95% or higher to sustainably eliminate measles infection (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17981635). (Although the precise R0 will vary based on parameters like population density etc., the common goals – >95% with at least one dose, >90% with two – reflect this). We can expect to carry on seeing measles outbreaks here in the UK at the current level of immunisation.

  46. Juan

    This makes me a bit sad. In developing countries like mine we have good vaccination rates because, sadly, we know too well what can happen if we don’t get our vaccines. We even had these “vaccination days” in my school when i was a kid: local bands, games, football, bingo, cake and shots. They were really cool.

    P
    V

  47. Dave

    I live in Minnesota and am about to become a first time father. When interviewing child care centers, I always asked whether they required all children to be vaccinated. Without fail every single one of them said “Yes, unless we get a notarized statement from the parents saying that they understand the risk”. The law backs them up: “If a notarized statement signed by the minor child’s parent or guardian or by the emancipated person is submitted to the administrator or other person having general control and supervision of the school or child care facility stating that the person has not been immunized as prescribed in subdivision 1 because of the conscientiously held beliefs of the parent or guardian of the minor child or of the emancipated person, the immunizations specified in the statement shall not be required.”
    Minnesota Statutes, Section 121A.15

    Depressing.

  48. Stephanie

    I have a compromised immune system. I had no idea about it as a child, but thankfully my parents were smart enough to praise modern medicine when it deserved it, and I was vaccinated regularly. I worked as a nursing assistant for some time, and before we were allowed to attend clinicals, we had to submit immunization records – except for two girls who signed a sheet of paper claiming that they were religiously opposed to Hep B vaccinations. It was a bunch of bull, of course. We all heard them say later that they simply didn’t want to get shots. But with that one sheet of paper, they were allowed near the elderly, already severely immunocompromised patients. That said, I have a daughter who is almost two, and she is being vaccinated on schedule. I’m expecting a second, and the same thing will be done. There’s no way I’m risking their health, nevermind my own.

    My husband’s father has two young children. They were given immunizations up until they were two years old, at which point they decided the vaccines had made their children “slow”. Now, these kids are fine. The issue is that their parents don’t spend any educational time with them. They’re put in front of a television, allowed to drink sodas and eat chips day, never read to, etc. The problem comes down to the parents just being lazy jerks who want to blame someone for something.

    Two more asides: 1) I’m sure most people are aware of this, but the vaccines being blamed for autism are given around the age that children start to exhibit signs of autism. Take that as you will. 2) The pediatrician we chose has a sign in their lobby stating that they vaccinate according to a schedule for public health reasons. They will spread the timeline out if there’s a good reason, but otherwise, they’ll be happy to refer you to another pediatrician if you don’t want to vaccinate your child.

  49. Minnie

    I’m confused about something. If your child IS vaccinated for measles, then he/she can’t get measles. So if a child sitting next to yours is NOT vaccinated, what’s the risk to your child?

  50. Andrew

    >I’m confused about something. If your child IS vaccinated for measles, then he/she can’t get >measles. So if a child sitting next to yours is NOT vaccinated, what’s the risk to your child?

    Some children are too young to be vaccinated; some children have medical conditions that preclude vaccination. While you might disagree, I’d rather that those children not be unnecessarily exposed to diseases.

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