La minaccia dei bambini non vaccinati

Cosa implica, in realtà, decidere di non far vaccinare il proprio figlio? Che l’immunità di gregge va a farsi friggere.

“According to Paul Offit, the chief of the infectious diseases division at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and author of Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure, the danger that nonvaccinated children pose to immunocompromised children couldn’t be clearer. Those who cannot be vaccinated, including young babies, transplant, and cancer patients, depend on the immunity of the herd to protect them. In recent years, in communities where many parents opt out of vaccinating their children, the herd has diminished. As a result, unvaccinated children have died from totally preventable infectious diseases such as measles, meningitis, and pertussis. (…)

A study released this year in the journal Pediatrics demonstrated that children whose parents refused the pertussis vaccination were at a much higher risk of contracting the disease in spite of being surrounded by vaccinated children. In the case of pertussis, also called whooping cough, herd immunity does not even seem to protect the nonvaccinated, which means vaccination is the only option for protection against pertussis. Pertussis can be fatal to infants and the immunocompromised if it is not diagnosed in time to complete antibiotic therapy.

(My son has cancer. He can’t go into day care because of unvaccinated children. By Stephanie Tatel)