Myth: Your Choice Puts others at Risk

Giving up freedom out of fear, is a threshold that should be carefully evaluated.

What about protecting the fragile, immunocompromised?

Immunosuppression is serious because the immune system no longer works to defend the organism against non-self invaders that may cause illness. The term “vaccine preventable diseases” here is a bit misleading, because those who have been vaccinated can in many cases still be infectious carriers of wild type bacteria and/or and vaccine strain viruses.

Vaccines are not 100% safe (they have the potential to cause harm to the recipient). Nor are they 100% effective (they are not guaranteed to protect from disease). As such, they should never be viewed as the primary way in which  we might protect immunocompromised persons.

An immunocompromised person is at risk from shedding by those recently vaccinated (intentionally infected) with live vaccines such as nasal flu sprays, chicken pox/shingles vaccines, measles vaccine, rotavirus oral vaccine, and polio oral vaccine. An immunocompromised person may also be at risk from someone who has been vaccinated, but can a still carry and transmit the pathogen as is the case with Bordetella pertussis (the causative agent of whooping cough). Since the vast majority of people use vaccines, these numbers for sure pose a statistically greater risk to the immunocompromised than unvaccinated children.
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