What can people do about vaccinating their children?
According to Tara Smith, there are a lot of things that people can do. One simple thing, among many that she mentions, is by making vaccines normalized in our society. In most cases, vaccination is only heard about when a bad reaction occurs.
How is one child's necessary vaccination affect the health of other children ?
Tara says that it depends on the state laws of those who are exempted. She says it’s good to know the regulations within a state and school district. With that knowledge, a person should then figure out how to strengthen the laws and make changes if necessary.
Why are the anti-vaccination groups putting everyone else in danger?
Resistance to vaccination is a big problem, specifically to herd immunity, which is the amount of people in the population that are required to block the transmission of infectious pathogens.
Those not vaccinated become susceptible to life threatening diseases, and by picking those diseases in areas where vaccination is not required, they are later able to bring the diseases back into their unvaccinated local communities.
Editor's note: The pathogens are then able to mutate, to change into pathogens that our bodies no longer know how to defend against. Anti-vaxxers don't just endanger themselves, but create a potential for infecting millions of people around them, even if those other people have been previously vaccinated.
How severe is the vaccination problem today compared to what it’s ever been?
It’s difficult to pinpoint for the country as a whole due to how vaccination increases in one area or decreases elsewhere. When outbreaks occur, people often only see what happens negatively, which leads to a bump in immunization or laws are changed. It usually takes an outbreak to occur to create change and awareness.
How are we victims of our own success?
That's how we are in public health and in general. When it comes to vaccinations, usually they’re invisible until there is an outbreak or crisis. People become advocates once witnessing the experience or tragedy of their child. We assume that vaccinations lead to negative reactions, but that’s not always the case.
What’s the percentage of people that get flu vaccinations?
Every year in the United States, about 40-50% of people will get a flu shot. Serious reactions occur in maybe 1 in a million. They do exist, but they are extremely rare.