CDC: Unvaccinated Kids Threaten To Infect Schoolmates With Highly Contagious Diseases, Potentially Resulting In An Outbreak

Debates over the benefits of vaccinations are constantly argued between supporters and non-supporters. Nearly all schools require some level of vaccination prior to a child’s attendance, with some leeway, or grace period, for those that cannot get immunized in time for the start of class. Some children, however, receive waivers against immunization for various reasons, as set forth by their family doctors. According to the CDC, the unvaccinated children may be placing the vaccinated children at risk of being infected with diseases they were immunized against.

The CDC states that many of the diseases the general public is immunized against have become rare, such as Polio, Chicken Pox, and Measles. However, until they are completely eradicated from the Earth, vaccines must be implemented to control their reemergence into the general population. The CDC website uses the analogy of a boat filling with water to demonstrate how vaccines work.

“It’s much like bailing out a boat with a slow leak. When we started bailing, the boat was filled with water. But we have been bailing fast and hard, and now it is almost dry. We could say, ‘Good. The boat is dry now, so we can throw away the bucket and relax.’ But the leak hasn’t stopped. Before long we’d notice a little water seeping in, and soon it might be back up to the same level as when we started.”

In Pennsylvania, Penn Live reports that although not every child is vaccinated in their schools, the number that have received vaccinations is better than most. However, those that are unvaccinated are putting immunized children at risk. In the U.S. this year, only 1.7 percent of parents sought out exemptions for their children to forgo vaccines. However, 1.7 percent of all U.S. children is an astronomical number.

As seen in the Disneyland outbreak of measles, one infected individual quickly caused nearly 100 people to get sick at the theme park, according to the Hoops News.

Dr. Tim Jacks, a pediatrician in Phoenix, wrote an article for Mother Jones to show how his vaccinated children are being placed in danger by being exposed to unvaccinated children. He stated that although immunized children are largely not a risk for being infected with diseases such as the measles, nearly 3 percent of those that are vaccinated do not “develop a lasting immune response.” Therefore, they are susceptible to being infected by those that are unvaccinated. He also reminds parents that some children cannot receive the vaccination until they reach school age, and therefore are susceptible, as well. The resulting sicknesses leave the door open for a potential outbreak scenario, which could spread quickly across the U.S.

How do you feel about vaccinations? Are those that keep their children unvaccinated leaving vaccinated children in potential danger? What side of the debate are you on, and why?

[Photo by Sean Gallup / Getty Images News]