Our View: Vaccinations are not just about you

Getting vaccinated protects others as well.

Getting vaccinated against common infectious diseases is just good common sense, for the vast majority of people.

But plenty of people dissent from that view. For various reasons (mostly not based on science) they decide not to get their kids vaccinated.

The decision not to get vaccinated is often seen as a personal choice, as a matter of individual choice.

It’s not.

Firstly, it’s almost always a choice being made on behalf of children too young to make up their own minds.

Chicken pox, the measles, rubella – these used to be considered “childhood diseases” because it was almost impossible to get through childhood without contracting them.

Now a whole generation has missed out on that experience, but feels like it’s fine to make the decision to be exposed to a misery-inducing, occasionally fatal disease for their offspring.

Second, and just as important, is the concept of herd immunity.

Remember how getting vaccinated is common sense for the vast majority?

There are a tiny number of people who can’t get vaccinated, because of serious allergies or immune disorders. They remain vulnerable to infectious diseases, and rely on the rest of us getting our shots to protect them. They can’t get chicken pox or the mumps if it isn’t circulating in the community.

That goes double for the measles, which is amazingly infectious.

Finally, we’re seeing an interesting trend as the measles outbreak spreads from the U.S. up into Canada.

Teenagers whose parents chose not to get them vaccinated are sneaking out to get their shots. It turns out that while their parents may have opted out, the kids for whom the decision was made are starting to have their own ideas about what’s best for them, and for their communities.

Just Posted

GREEN BEAT: Opening ‘new roads’ in Langley makes cycling safer

HUB Langley pushed to ‘UnGap the Map’ and create more bike infrastructure throughout the community.

Jordan Owens memorial tournament continues

Players come from as far away as Washington State to take part in fundraiser

VIDEO: Giants take a 1-0 playoff series lead

Vancouver beat Seattle 7-1 in game one of the best-of-seven Western Conference series in Langley

Coroners office reports 29 fatal drug overdoses in Langley in 2018

Dealing with drug overdoses, fatal or not, creates serious stress for first responders.

WATCH: Out and about in Langley

March 23 to 25; your guide to community happenings.

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Vancouver-bound transit bus involved in fatal crash near Seattle

One man was killed and a woman injured in crash with bus purchased by TransLink

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Most Read