To vaccinate or not to vaccinate: Should it even be a question?


If your brats are not vaccinated the they are the ones who are vulnerable-not my vaccinated kids.

Except most vaccinations are < 100% effective and some kids can’t be vaccinated because of certain allergies. MMR for instance is 99.7%. That 0.3% for the population of the US is 900,000 people. Your vaccinated kid may not actually any immunity to the disease.


And even some vaccinated individuals may, because of chemotherapy or other circumstances, have a compromised immune system. The unvaccinated brats are likely to put those people at a greater risk.


Like @Aloisius said, since vaccines are less than 100% effective then your kids are at an increased risk if surrounded by non-vaccinated kids.

Imagine a vaccine is 95% effective against a highly contagious disease like measles. If all the kids at a given school are vaccinated that’s more than good enough because the odds are very low that the disease will ever take hold, much less spread. But if your kid is the only vaccinated child in a school experiencing a major outbreak of that disease then his odds of getting sick can go from almost nonexistent to around 1 in 20.


You jackbooted thugs are all alike. Just the first step on the slippery slope to death panels. First they came for the polio, but I said nothing because I didn’t have polio…


This is what scares me about the parents refusing to vaccinate their kids…

via the CDC (

Poliovirus is highly infectious, with seroconversion rates among susceptible household contacts of children nearly 100%, and greater than 90% among susceptible household contacts of adults. Persons infected with poliovirus are most infectious from 7 to 10 days before and after the onset of symptoms, but poliovirus may be present in the stool from 3 to 6 weeks.

Polio aint gone from the world and just like measles it could come back really, really easily.


I totally agree except this makes those of us with kids who are allergic to nuts (and who vaccinate) look just as crazy.

That’s been part of the problem since my child was diagnosed with nut allergies… I feel like an anti-vaxxer, and not in a good way.


You are correct. I didn’t think of that before I posted it. I like the cartoon but I in no way meant to insinuate that people with legitimate health concerns aren’t in the right.


I don’t have a problem with parents making informed medical decisions for their children. It’s just that there are no responsibilities attached.

A child who has a medical reason to not get a vaccination? Doctor’s signature on a required form, all OK.

A child whose parents don’t want them to get the vaccination, without medical reason? The non-vaccinated person must wear a distinguishing pin/bracelet/whatever which is immediately recognizable to concerned others in public, and their parents have to buy an insurance policy to pay out medical and inconvenience costs for anyone who gets sick after being in contact with their child. And yes, I would include religious exemptions in this group.

I’ve been in the situation of having to turn to someone who just bragged about not vaccinating their kids and saying “I’m in chemo; you’ve now made it dangerous for me to stay here” and then leaving immediately. What if they hadn’t been talking about it when I first walked up to them, so I didn’t know to leave? Why should they get a free pass while someone like me pays the consequences for their actions? Make them pay.


So the other night I was at drinks with a friend, meeting a few folks I had never before met, and started explaining about how amazing it was the so many kids at my daughters school in Marin are voluntarily and unnecessarily unvaccinated by their parents.

Sadly, I forgot that not everyone in the world agrees with me (oh, BB BBS, I know you try to ensure I never forget this!) and it turns out a woman at the table had the “NOT IN MY BODY” attitude.

She told me that “Some people have allergic reactions and die.” I replied that this number is somewhat less than 1:1MM but that if Polio comes back it has a communicability rate of nearly 100% with 1-2% of people ending up with some form of paralysis. Given the likelihood for mutation and the vaccines inability to perform if the disease does mutate, a very small pool of infected could result in a mass return of Polio, or the Measles or Mumps, etc.

Her reply “Then people get sick and die, at least I didn’t DO IT to myself or my kid.”

I do not get the logic.

Can’t take me anywhere.


By all means, do share. Because the only arguments I’ve heard against vaccination to date are

  • A vague distrust of “the medical establishment,” “big pharma” and “government”
  • Thoroughly disproven allegations that there is some kind of link between vaccines and autism
  • Completely unsupported beliefs that vaccination somehow “weakens the immune system”

So if you’ve got something else let’s hear it.


Sound arguments against vaccination? Besides people with compromised immune systems and severe allergies (a very tiny, tiny percentage of people), what possible sound arguments against vaccination are there?

Do you know how many people died from measles before the vaccine was developed? About 200 million since 1850. Mostly children under 5. That it was the most common cause of blindness? The untold number of children who suffered mental retardation from the brain swelling? All nearly eliminated because of vaccination.

So please, do share.


No comments on the core concept of the cartoon, which is quite original - at least I haven’t seen it expressed before: the hypocrisy of expecting everyone else to make concessions to protect the parent-in-the-cartoon’s children’s health, just as the parent-in-the-cartoon refuses to make concessions to protect the other children’s health. Worthy point, cleverly made. I would give a shoutout to the cartoonist, but the comments page is separate from the content page… I’m sure for very good reasons.


It is about time that private businesses which have any number of children simply start banning anyone who isn’t vaccinated to protect those who can’t be vaccinated, the vaccine didn’t work or who are in chemo.

No your child can’t go to Disneyland. Or the restaurant. Or the movie theater. And certainly not on an airplane. Or day care.


I don’t think it does that at all. I think it’s just going for the juxtaposition of someone who isn’t nuts for having legitimate health concerns next to someone totally crazy who has deluded themselves into thinking their concerns are legitimate.

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If it’s based on a general distrust of the entire medical industry rather than any specific objection to vaccines then yes, I’d certainly say it’s “vague.”

Saying “I refuse to vaccinate because I distrust big pharma” is like saying “I refuse to obey traffic laws because I distrust big government.”

Why would you bother bringing something into this discussion that by your own admission is both irrelevant and anecdotal?


If the risks of the vaccine outweigh the risks of the disease, and continued vaccination is no longer necessary to preserve herd immunity or to eradicate the disease, then that is an argument against vaccination.

In the case of smallpox vaccination, it used to make sense to accept the risks of the vaccine because they were less than the risks of smallpox, because they helped build herd immunity, and because they helped eradicate smallpox. But it no longer makes sense, because the risks of the vaccine can be quite nasty, especially in countries like the United States post-2002, using a contagious live vaccine, with no quarantine, and no working public health system.


I think part of the disbelief of the distrust of big pharma and health-care argument is that there is a doubt that these same patents refuse most medication and health care for their kids but rather are picking one single thing to fight using this argument.

Maybe this isn’t the case, but I would say it is likely the perception.

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People aren’t deluded into thinking their concerns are legitimate. People legitimate their own concerns, because they are the only ones who can. Assuming that everybody’s risk assessment is going to meet your approval would be wishful thinking.