I can’t think of a vaccine-preventable disease that kills or permanently damages 100 percent of those infected.
It’s a safe bet that if there were such a disease, we’d all be vaccinated against it. We’d all demand to be vaccinated against it.
The diseases we can prevent vary in how they affect us. Some, such as measles, will infect almost every person not protected by a vaccine. They’ll probably not feel good, but the diseases won’t kill or permanently damage every person.
In the case of measles, about one out of 1,000 infected kids will experience swelling of the brain, and one or two will die from the infection.
So not every person will be killed or permanently damaged.
Meningitis may infect a lot of people. Most are walking around with the bacteria in their nose or throat but they’re not going to get sick.
Rarely, someone will become infected and will get sick. And when that happens, it can cause brain damage, loss of hearing, loss of limbs, or death.
But it’s another disease that’s not going to kill or permanently damage everyone infected.
We could go through each vaccine-preventable disease and talk about how many infected people will have permanent damage or die from the infection. In all cases, the majority of those infected will live, and they will have no permanent damage from the disease.
I still get my kids vaccinated against every disease for which there is a vaccine.
I can’t risk either of my children living with or dying from an infection I could have prevented with a quick vaccination.
I’ve been reading about vaccines for two decades. We have more scientists on our advisory board than I can count, and I’ve been listening to them talk about every aspect of vaccines and vaccinations for two decades.
There is nothing that is going to happen from vaccinating my girls other than a sore arm or short fever. I can live with that. More to the point, they can live with that. The risk for my girls is not in the vaccine, but in the not vaccinating.
When my girls were tiny, I buckled them in before driving anywhere, and as they grew older, I wouldn’t take the car out of park until they were buckled.
Of all of the cars on the road at any one time, very few of them will be in an accident. And few of those accidents will result in permanent damage or the death of a person. We all know that. We still buckle our kids in before we leave the driveway.
It doesn’t matter how small the risk is to our kids, if we can protect them, we will.
The next time you hear a friend say they’re not going to vaccinate their kids, or they’re going to wait and stretch out the vaccines over time, take a minute to talk to them about why we practice prevention, even when the odds are in our favor.
by Trish Parnell