Originally Posted by PotterWatch
I'm not trying to be snarky, this is an honest request for information. If all the other children are vaccinated, how does the non-vaccinated child present a threat? Wouldn't they only be a threat to other non-vaccinated individuals?
I know that the measles vaccine cannot be given to kids until they are at least a year old (meaning all babies under a year old are at risk from the measles). Measles can be very deadly (1/3 of young children infected still die from it and almost all need to be hospitalized to be treated). So if the baby comes in contact with someone else who has it, they have zero defenses against it. Measles was once thought to be eradicated from the US, so the number of people who stopped vaccinating rose. But since world travel is more common now, people who traveled can still bring the illness in, and can cause outbreaks in areas where not vaccinating is becoming the norm. Then there's the issue that since measles is so uncommon, many newer doctors have never seen a case, meaning that children that do have it may not get the correct treatment right away.
Vaccines also use the idea of herd immunity, meaning that if almost everyone is vaccinated, then the few that aren't are protected because the disease can't easily "spread" through a community. But more & more people are choosing not to vaccinate, which is taking the protection of herd immunity away. Most outbreaks of diseases (like measles) occur in areas where more & more people have chosen not to vaccinate (for whatever reason). My personal opinion is that if parents want to choose not to vaccinate & choose to take the risk with their child, then that is their choice. It does bother me though that something like measles, where now all young babies are put at risk from other peoples choices. I think that most people who choose not to vaccine genuinely aren't aware of the risks because most of them just assume that these illnesses aren't an issue anymore.