Get Vaccinated

Published January 21, 2010 in Forbes Magazine

Everyone’s decision to vaccinate or not is not just his own business. Scientists have quantified this matter in something called “herd immunity.” If enough of a population is immune, a disease dies out. For measles you need 83% of the population to be vaccinated or naturally immune in order for the number of active cases to decline over time. When immunity falls below this threshold, incidence of the disease goes up, putting at risk entirely innocent patients (newborns and those who, for sound medical reasons, cannot safely get a vaccine). Vaccine deniers are not just hurting themselves; they are also contributing to a wave of vaccine paranoia that may kill thousands of children.

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