More parents forgoing vaccinations

Another infuriating article about the twee Bobo sociopaths who refuse to vaccinate their children. Knowing parasites upon the herd immunity of everyone else, they are increasingly creating clusters of unvaccinated kids who form disease reservoirs where previously eradicated illnesses like measles are making a comeback. Their precious darlings then go on to infect younger children who haven't had their vaccinations, the immunocompromised, and adults whose immunity has waned1.

There is substantial evidence that communities with pools of unvaccinated clusters risk infecting a broad community that includes people who have been inoculated.

For instance, in a 2006 mumps outbreak in Iowa that infected 219 people, the majority of those sickened had been vaccinated. In a 2005 measles outbreak in Indiana, there were 34 cases, including six people who had been vaccinated.

Words fail one in trying to come up with adequate words to describe people who permit their children to bring the precious gift of sterility, encephalitis, and death to perfect strangers.

Of course, I recognize that people have a right to abide by their conscience, and I would not want public health officials to force children to be vaccinated. I just think that people who are unvaccinated, unless they have a legitimate medical reason for same, should not be allowed to use public roads, public sidewalks, or public services. They have a right not to vaccinate their children. But they do not have a right to risk my health.

Update I chose the word "sociopath" quite deliberately. I think parents who leave their children unvaccinated are the moral equivalent of people who drive drunk. I imagine the person in my comments who contracted measles at 15 months from an unvaccinated child, and ended up with permanent corneal scarring, feels even less kindly than I do.

1While it is commonly assumed that vaccinations give you lifetime immunity, depending on the disease, that immunity can fall off over time; the vaccines work by denying diseases their most common reservoir (schoolchildren), not necessarily by giving everyone permanent immunity.

Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This wildly inventive short film takes you on a whirling, spinning tour of the Big Apple

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Desegregated, Yet Unequal

A short documentary about the legacy of Boston busing

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

Social Media: The Video Game

What if the validation of your peers could "level up" your life?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Business

Just In