"Two new books, "Deadly Choices" by Paul Offit and "The Panic Virus" by Seth Mnookin, detail the sordid story of the anti-vaccine movement.
"Given that, it's hard for me to believe that some parents still refuse to vaccinate their children."
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Moreover, if your kids aren't vaccinated, they can die of preventable diseases, or be paralyzed from polio. I cannot understand the thinking of parents who apparently would rather have a child die a painful death from whooping cough than a live child with autism. Since the growth of the anti-vaccine movement locally, we've had a number of deaths from whooping cough ... made worse by the fact that this generation of doctors had never seen whooping cough and didn't even know what they were seeing till an elderly doctor identified it.
"Forty-eight children too young to be vaccinated had to be quarantined, at an average family cost of $775 per child. The total cost of the outbreak was $124,517, about $11,000 per case and substantially more for the hospitalized child. That was just in the money the county and state spent to clean the mess up, and doesn't take into the account the costs to private insurers."
I once worked with someone who'd had a transplant and was therefore immuno-compromised. Every year at the beginning of flu season, the boss would give a lecture on staying home when you're sick, concluding with the threat that anyone who brought flu germs into the office would be charged for the sick days taken by the rest of the office as a result (which might include Ms. D spending a month in the hospital). Whether that threat was legal or not, it made a point -- one person can lose $100 pay by staying home for a day, or the firm can lose thousands in productivity.