Vaccines are really good at preventing diseases. Vaccines have also saved millions of lives and reduced the number of diseases over the years. In fact, it is actually a lot more risky not to immunise ourselves.
- We are putting our loved ones at risk. If we are not immunised, we could be silent carriers of germs. It is possible to harbour germs (e.g. human papillomavirus) in our body without displaying any symptoms. We could then pass these germs on to our loved ones or others who may suffer from the disease.
- We actually spend more. Vaccine-preventable diseases are cheaper to prevent than to treat. Vaccines remain the biggest bang-for-buck in personal health because vaccines reduce the number of hospital visits and cut down healthcare treatments and costs.
- We let down those who depend on us. Vaccine-preventable disease such as the flu can cause us to miss work or leave us unable to care for those who depend on us (e.g. our children and our aging parents). An average influenza virus can last for 15 days, with five or six missed work days.
- We put the community at risk. Immunisation can protect the community when enough of us in the community are immunised. There are always those within our community who are unable to be immunised due to medical reasons, but when we rely on others to get immunised, we risk decreasing this percentile, therefore losing the protection.
- We risk an epidemic. If we are not immunised, not only do we lose herd immunity we risk an outbreak. Diseases that were previously kept at bay by herd immunity will now have the chance to spread.
- We limit our opportunities. Schools are beginning to deny admission to children who are not immunised. In another situation, certain countries have made certain vaccinations a requirement when issuing travel visas. For example, travellers who are not immunised with the meningococcal vaccine are not allowed to visit Saudi Arabia.