Are vaccines really that important?

I have always been up on my vaccines so I had never really given much though to the subject. I am protected, so what do I have to worry about? I have a small child and while we are working on his vaccines over the course of his first year of life, I fear what could happen if he came into contact with a disease that he does not have full protection from yet. Recently in Minnesota we have seen an outbreak of measles among small children. It is understood that in some cultures vaccines can be against religions or beliefs. It is also understood that in some cases, due to medical conditions, people are not able to get vaccines. No matter the reason it can still be scary to think about. Are we on the verge of a massive outbreak that could spiral out of control at any time?

MPR recently posted an article that outlines the current measles outbreak in Minnesota. https://www.mprnews.org/story/2017/04/13/3-measles-cases-confirmed-in-minnesota While what is discussed in this article only is for a small handful of children, the amount of children who don’t receive vaccines is much higher. If these children were to come into contact with the infected parties, we could be looking at many sick children.

My Grandmother contracted polio when she was 16 years old. As a result of the illness, she is now a paraplegic. I can’t imagine the devastation if we had an outbreak of any of these diseases today that could be prevented with a simple shot.

https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/disease-eradication speaks about the eradication of diseases. While we can’t force all people to be on board with vaccines and while I respect different viewpoints on the necessity of vaccines, what a great accomplishment to have all of these diseases eradicated from todays world.

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