If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know I'm pretty sciencey. I also work for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Prevention is one of our things. So, not surprisingly, we get how vaccines work and support their use. In my mind, it's not a matter of belief. Every parent gets to make their own decision, but the facts are this: the more people who are unvaccinated, the more people are going to get sick from preventable (there's that word again) diseases. The cost of not vaccinating can be pricey, too, as this article shows. Health departments still have to contain and quarantine. Not a great use of public money, in my opinion.
Will your kid die from chicken pox? Not likely. And perhaps that is the thinking, why risk side effects (perceived or otherwise) of the vaccination when their child won't die of the disease?
This extremely narrow view of disease irks me. The point of having a high rate of vaccination is so that babies, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems, people who either can't have the vaccination or for whom it is not as effective, are protected because they aren't exposed. It's called Herd Immunity.
Anyway, Mr W has been vaccinated with the full battery of recommended immunizations. He's going to this weekly program at my church and a couple of days ago, I got an email with this post's title in it. A kid in the group exposed everyone to chicken pox at the meeting this week. That's how it works. If the parent had seen spots on their (I'm guessing unvaccinated) kid, they would have kept him or her home (or I hope so, anyway). But kids are contagious a day or two before they get the spots. That's how it works.
I'm not worried that Mr W will get it. I'm not worried that I'll get it. However, I had to write to Mr W's dad and tell him to keep Mr W away from his grandma (ex's mom) who is elderly and should not risk exposure. It annoys me that I have to make accommodations like that when on the other end, if the kid was unvaccinated, that family didn't make accommodations for the rest of us. It's part of living in a society.