Vaccines and herd immunity

Unless you live under a rock, or ignore the news/media, you’ve likely heard of the stories regarding measles outbreaks happening across the country in many different states. There are also cases of whooping cough, mumps, rubella, and polio popping up after years/decades of these diseases being almost non-existent. The cause seems to be a simple one: lowered herd immunity due to parents refusing to vaccinate their children. Some parents are doing this due to religious reasons, others due to the falsified link between autism and vaccines. Some parents are claiming their children are healthy enough to fight off these diseases without the “added toxins” of vaccines. While I personally know people who have chosen to not vaccinate their children, and their reasoning falls between the autism link and the toxin scare of vaccines, I can’t seem to fully understand any of these reasons and can only see the cases of these preventable diseases increasing unless something is done regarding these parents and their lack of knowledge.

I am not a parent and I do not know all the horrible, possible side effects of vaccines. All I know is that I received all of my vaccines as a child and only had chickenpox at age 8 due to lack of chickenpox vaccine until mid to late 90’s. I never had whooping cough, measles, mumps, polio, or rubella. I also did not suffer any negative side effects from the vaccines themselves. And as I plan on having children in the future, I plan on vaccinating my children as recommended by their pediatrician, but the real scare is that with lowered herd immunity my future children are at high risk for contracting any of these preventable diseases. And the worse part is knowing that some of my own family members have decided to not vaccinate their children, and knowing that when I have children of my own, I will not want my kids anywhere near their kids until mine are full vaccinated (when is that anyways? age 2? 3? I am clueless, but would need to do a lot of research prior to any of this anyways).

Do you find it cold to say see you in a few years to your family members just to keep your children safe and protected from their unvaccinated children? Is it too much to be that protective? My biggest fear is their 3 year old son is carrying measles and not showing the symptoms and then my infant gets measles which would be much worse on a baby versus a toddler. Am I in the right? Let me know what you think in the comments, and let me know if I am over thinking this. Thank you.

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