Are we vaccinating for diseases that are eradicated? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 07-18-2011, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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When I read about the various concerns and risks of vaccinating and then read the pros and cons of the vaccinations, I wonder what diseases are most prevalent in the United States today compared to the disease rate in the US when vaccines were introduced during outbreaks. If certain diseases are mostly eradicated then why is the vaccination necessary? I understand it is for 'protection of the herd' but, is there really a significant risk of contracting these diseases now in our USA? Obviously, certain diseases are heard of more commonly such as, whooping cough. But what are the chances of contracting MMR, Diphtheria and Tetanus? I know tetanus is in the environment. So if my child makes a mud pie and plays in dirt then he can get Tetanus? I think that if most children are vaccinated then my unvaccinated child isn't a risk to them. So, it must be other unvaccinated persons and things in our environment that are a risk to the unvaccinated, correct? And if so, what's the chances of contracting measles for example or mumps in todays USA? Are there still outbreaks of these diseases in the USA? I know these diseases are just a plane ride away. But to a child who lives in a small, rural town, home schooled and does not attend day care or preschool… what are their chances of contracting these diseases from one trip to Disneyland or Metro-City visit with-in the USA?  Thanks!

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#2 of 3 Old 07-18-2011, 02:56 PM
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Wow - lots of questions here.  I can't give you the individual statistics for each disease you are asking about. That info is easily found in a vaccine book.  But in general, some diseases have been eradicated (or virtually so) so the risk of catching such a disease is close to zero (I think you already know that, so I'm not telling you something new there). Some of the more common diseases have a higher risk, such as pertussis, but the overall danger is fairly low.  Meaning, the likelihood that any one infant will catch a particular disease and die from it is very very low. I would say the the media and the medical community in general exaggerate the risk of diseases in favor of encouraging vaccination.  Another way I like to explain this is that I don't view the choice to not vaccinate as a dangerous one. It's a legitimate lifestyle choice to make.  There's risk either way you go. I think that travel in the U.S does NOT pose much risk above and beyond the disease risk that an unvaxed person takes in their day to day life.

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#3 of 3 Old 07-21-2011, 03:41 AM
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