General Question

rojo's avatar

Do unvaccinated children pose a threat to those who are vaccinated?

Asked by rojo (24090points) November 15th, 2018

Although children are required to have vaccinations in order to enter the school system un-vaccinated can be enrolled with a signed affidavit that vaccination is against your religious beliefs.
If your child is vaccinated what dangers do they face from those who are not? Is it not only those who do not take the precautions that need worry?

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16 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I believe that the unvaccinated are a threat to other unvaccinated children.

JLeslie's avatar

As far as I know the unvaccinated are only a threat to the vaccinated in that there is a small failure rate when vaccinated. Some vaccines more than others, but it’s still very small.

Mariah's avatar

What @JLeslie said. They’re also a threat to children who couldn’t get vaccinated for medical reasons.

Stache's avatar

They are a threat to babies who are too young for vaccines as well as those with weak immune systems.

BackinBlack's avatar

This video explains it so us “normies” can understand!


josie's avatar

Plus, unvaccinated people become hosts where the respective viruses have a home to replicate, mutate, and become a strain that the vaccine does not protect against. Then everybody is screwed.

JLeslie's avatar

@josie most of the illnesses we vaccinate for are very stable, that’s why the vaccines work. They don’t mutate rapidly like flu and the cold virus. The measles, pertussis, polio, it’s basically the same vaccine as 50 years ago.

josie's avatar


I have no reason to doubt what you are saying. But couldn’t it be argued that since we efficiently use those vaccines, the virus is deprived of hosts and thus is deprived of the opportunity to create successful mutations.
I totally realize it is sort of a chicken/egg question. And if I’m wrong, I’m wrong.

Caravanfan's avatar

What josie said.

JLeslie's avatar

@josie Seems reasonable. I don’t know enough about infectious disease to argue one way or the other with your statement.

Some of the diseases are still happening in larger numbers in other countries. I recently was reading an article about a measles outbreak in Europe, and someone told me that it’s a strain from Israel. So, I guess there are various strains if that info is correct, I’m not sure if that is from a mutation, or if several strains have existed for a long time.

Usually, when there is an outbreak of measles there are reports of vaccinated people getting it too, but they never say if it’s people with just one shot in the series, or if they are elderly and the immunity might have waned. The efficacy of the measles vaccine is very high, and the way I understood it the different varieties or strains (not sure the correct word) still are covered by the one vaccine because of how closely related they are or something like that. My science is very lacking. Obviously, the vaccine is very effective, because measles is practically unheard of in the US. Especially, before parents in whole communities weren’t vaccinating they’re kids. It’s still extremely rare here, and only because of the vaccine. Measles is crazy contagious.

Caravanfan's avatar

@JLeslie No. That measles outbreak is because stupid antivaxxers have convinced large numbers of Europeans not to vaccinate.

JLeslie's avatar

@Caravanfan I know. I didn’t say otherwise. I said that the vaccine is why measles is very rare in America. Without it there would be huge outbreaks.

Caravanfan's avatar

@JLeslie Ah, your post implied that it was bad because of a mutant strain. Measles is ALWAYS bad unless you’re vaccinated.

JLeslie's avatar

@Caravan Someone had said on some post that the recent outbreaks in Europe were from Israel. I don’t know if they just tracked the disease crossing the countries, or if there was some sort of genetic marker in the virus that let scientists know it was the same strain?? I think I said above, the measles vaccine is incredibly effective because the virus doesn’t change much, and the small variation are still susceptible to the immunity produced by the vaccine. Measles, rubella, mumps, polio, all very stable viruses so we have very effective long standing vaccines.

One jelly suggested that if the virus circulated more maybe it would mutate. I have no idea, maybe that’s a possibility. As far as I’ve always known, measles doesn’t change much. It’s not like flu or rhinovirus, or even HIV we had trouble developing a vaccine because of a variety of strains or mutations. I might be using the wrong terminology.

Caravanfan's avatar

No problem. I just didn’t want people getting the idea that the vaccine was ineffective.

JLeslie's avatar

@Caravan Oh, I agree. The efficacy rate is really good with measles vaccine. It doesn’t change me being curious about when vaccinated people do catch the measles though. Like I said, I assume it’s probably young children who haven’t had the full series, or much older people, but reports about measles outbreaks never say. Measles is so incredibly contagious, obviously the vaccine is very effective or we would see huge measles outbreaks every year.

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