Why do some vaccinated kids still get sick?

Editorial Board

Editorial Board

June 18th, 2015

Editorial Board
Share

‘This is a question we come across a lot. The short answer is that no vaccine is 100% effective.’

Immunity is not like flicking a light switch; there is no simple on/off button. Sometimes an individual’s immune system just doesn’t respond to the vaccine. Or perhaps the vaccine has lost potency because it is out of date or has not been stored correctly. In the real world, these things can happen. And mild disease can occur despite successful vaccination.

But these are not reasons to skip vaccination. In fact, it makes it even more important that everyone – unless you are too young or too sick – is vaccinated.

The Robert Koch Institute offers the following example to illustrate this point:

Imagine a measles epidemic occurs in a primary school. Half of the children are immunised, the other half not. Statistically, one can expect about 97 or 98 percent of the unprotected pupils to get sick – but only two to three percent of the vaccinated pupils.

Vaccines can also help reduce the severity of disease. This means that even if you catch an infectious illness you are less likely to suffer serious complications.

‘But I heard that more vaccinated people got sick during an epidemic in my city.’

This can happen. When it does, it causes serious confusion until you look more closely.

vaccines

The History of Vaccines project at the University of Philadelphia explains this neatly:

“During an outbreak, the number of vaccinated individuals who get sick will often outnumber the unvaccinated people who get sick. This, however, is not because vaccines are ineffective, but because there are so few people who avoid vaccination in the first place. Look at the numbers for a hypothetical outbreak:

You have a group of 500 people who have been exposed to an outbreak of a rare disease. Of those 500 people, 490 have been vaccinated; 10 have not. Different vaccines provide different rates of protection, but in this case, let’s assume that 98 of every 100 people who are vaccinated will successfully develop immunity against the disease.

When exposed to the outbreak, all 10 of the unvaccinated individuals get the disease. What about the 490 who were vaccinated?

Based on the assumption of 98 of every 100 people developing successful immunity (leaving two of the 100 unprotected), about 10 of the 490 vaccinated individuals will get the disease—the same as the number of unvaccinated individuals who came down with the disease.

Those numbers, however, don’t take into account the percentage of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals who got sick. Of those who fell ill, 10 had been vaccinated and 10 had not. But the 10 who had been vaccinated are only (10 / 490) = 2% of the individuals who had been vaccinated in the population of 500. The 10 who hadn’t been vaccinated are (10 / 10) = 100% of those who weren’t vaccinated. The final results of the outbreak, therefore, look like this:

  • Population size: 500
  • Vaccinated individuals: 490
  • Unvaccinated individuals: 10
  • Percentage of vaccinated individuals who fell ill: 2%
  • Percentage of unvaccinated individuals who fell ill: 100%”

So the risk of contracting the disease is many times higher in the unvaccinated group.

Comments

  1. Kiwi

    Kiwi

    April 10th, 2019

    Personally I think it has to do with the person, and not that if you get sick with something and overcome it your immune system gets better. Some people are more sickly than others even if they haven’t been vaccinated yet. Anyway I respect your opinion I think it’s interesting

    • Pogi

      Pogi

      April 14th, 2019

      Idiot that’s not an opinion. It’s a fact. Please stop destroying humanity, anti-vaxxers. Numbers don’t lie and statistics will tell you that vaccines ‘ benefits truly do far outweigh the risks

      • Joan

        Joan

        July 1st, 2020

        Actually, the information here is mythologizing. In the first world, where sanitation, clean air, water and nutritious food are readily available, flu only presents great risk to the very old and the extremely sick – and they’re not walking around much in society. The percentage of inoculated people who get the flu is many times higher than those who don’t. The effectiveness of flu vaccines is very poor and they are loaded with high amounts of deadly toxins banned by the EPA. The information above is merely theory without application in 1st world countries.

        • Gary Finnegan

          Gary Finnegan

          July 9th, 2020

          Sanitation and clean water are essential to public health. That is not in dispute. However, viruses still circulate in developed countries – measles, flu, SARS-CoV-2…
          Your claim about vaccines, which are tested and approved by regulators, containing ‘banned toxins’ is patently false. They simply would not be available in the EU, let alone recommended, if this were the case. Please consult your doctor about the best ways to stay healthy.

  2. John

    John

    June 10th, 2019

    We are to assume that 100 percent of the unvaccinated fell ill, don’t think so, calling someone names to their face means more than typing it out you brave person you.

    • Gary Finnegan

      Gary Finnegan

      June 14th, 2019

      No, thankfully that’s not what happens.

      Separately, according to our Guiding Principles, comments should be based on facts and should not contain personal insults.

      Please keep this conversation rational and respectful.
      https://www.vaccinestoday.eu/guiding-principles/

    • Suzy

      Suzy

      June 19th, 2019

      If someone doesn’t want to vaccinate their kids that is their right! Just because you are not vaccinated doesn’t mean you will definitely get sick since unvaccinated children are usually healthier. Everyone needs to stop picking on antivaxxers since if your kid is vaccinated they only have a 2% chance of getting sick!

      • Jennifer

        Jennifer

        December 30th, 2019

        If someone doesn’t want to vaccinate based on personal preference and not medical necessity that is fine. However those unvaccinated children should not be allowed to be in the public school systems or daycares or go to a normal drs office. They pose a great risk to immune compromised people who are medically unable to get vaccinated. Herd immunity is a good thing and children and parents should have a reasonable expectation of safety for their children in school. Personal exemptions should not be acceptable for publicly funded schools .

        • James Nichols

          James Nichols

          February 14th, 2020

          An outbreak of measles occurred in a high school with a documented vaccination level of 98 per cent. Nineteen (70 per cent) of the cases were students who had histories of measles vaccination at 12 months of age or older and are therefore considered vaccine failures.

          • Gary Finnegan

            Gary Finnegan

            February 17th, 2020

            Would you have a reference for that data?

        • Parry

          Parry

          June 9th, 2020

          Well that’s a very scary mindset. I’m no anti-vaxxer but to deny the right of public education because you didn’t get vaccinated is not freedom. To make vaccinations mandatory is dictatorship. Whether they are safe or not it doesn’t matter and should be the choice of the individual/guardian. If you’re vaccinated you shouldn’t worry.. if you have a weak immune system in general, maybe you shouldn’t be attending public school in the first place.

          • Emily

            Emily

            June 10th, 2020

            “Parry” If i can make a mature argument here sir , that’s really not fair to say that people who are born with weak immune systems shouldn’t go to school and lead a normal life. They need it just as much so they can learn to cope with it as an adult, after all immunocompromised or not there’s no government in the world that actually takes care of their sick and disabled with enough means to live. So they’re going to have to get up everyday as an adult to go to work to live. Those people are not at fault for being born with something that compromises their immune system. However, selfish parents who could have perfectly healthy children if they simply chose to innoculate against illnesses that were eradicted until their foolishness came around – should somehow have right to send their kids to school and potentially put someone else’s child – who has as much right as any to a proper, normal education – in danger of falling ill to something that is one hundred times more severe to them , than any other healthy child? The parents had a choice. They’re the ones robbing their children of an education. They made a choice to be selfish and leave their child at risk of falling ill to an easily preventable disease, Quite frankly, not everything is just about you and your little bubble and the peoplein your near vicinity. If the events of the past few weeks haven’t proved to people that what our world needs most is unity , community and to take care of one another , be mindful of our choices and open our eyes to others struggles and needs , that we’re better as an educated unified human race. Then I pity them. I would also like to clarify I am not comparing racism to anti-vaxx idealogy. I shouldn’t even have to say that , and i shouldn’t even have to clarify which is the far bigger problem. However, sometimes words can come across in a way not intended. My only intention was to point out that we are much better as people when we unite and take care of one another. We can make change happen in great numbers. We can open other peoples eyes. We can help educate people and understand one another. Anti-vaxxers might not be bad people but they are uneducated , and they probably aren’t to blame for that. The problem is many of them will dispute what their children are taught , and refused to listen with any reason or sensibility. Even when faced with a multitude of scientific data that says they should. That’s not community, that’s not unity they put others at risk with their closed-minded near cult-like mindset. It’s not what the world needs. It is a shame for their children, they’re victims of false information. However many of them are so hard-set on their beliefs they choose to homesechool.

          • John

            John

            July 1st, 2020

            I was wondering why people who are vaccinated care if they are said to be safe because of the vaccine so what’s the problem.

      • Davo

        Davo

        June 21st, 2020

        Once in a while I’ll bring up the point that in the past, say in Venice, Italy during the renaissance, the cities were crowded and completely filthy, in terms of what we’d consider ‘filthy’ today. There were plenty of people existing in that mess of uncleanliness, yet, they survived mostly. They may not have lived a very long life because of basic hygiene, but, you can certainly imagine the germs and diseases present there. Modern humans would NEVER stand a chance in those environments with our depleted immune system. They didn’t have the wonderful pharma ‘gods’ to shoot them up, of course, and that didn’t happen until not too long ago–compared to human history. They system is massive, powerful and has billions of dollars to spend on their products, how it is labeled and presented, and, of course has access to all the powerful media outlets, and most detractors have none. I could find very little dissenting info on vaccines when searching and I know there’s plenty of people with great, well-documented research explaining many nefarious activities and practices of pharma, to name one. Corporations, let’s not forget, ONLY exist for profit; they are not kind, humble, benevolent entities; they use money and power for whatever purpose serves them and it’s up to you to investigate and figure it out. They control the gov and it’s obvious is anyone is paying attention. No punishment if your product harms, kills, injures or just doesn’t work as promoted. Yet, if I leave my rake out on my walkway and a stranger trips and gets hurt, I can be made to pay their bills via the law.

        • Gary Finnegan

          Gary Finnegan

          June 22nd, 2020

          Life expectancy by world region from 1770 to 2018
          If we go back to the 14th century, 50 million people (more than half of Europe’s population at the time) were killed by the Black Death. Better hygiene/sanitation, improved living conditions and advances in healthcare have doubled our life expectancy.

    • ur pp small

      ur pp small

      November 26th, 2019

      ok boomer. have fun with your kids dying

  3. EyesOpen

    EyesOpen

    September 13th, 2019

    I’m 32 and I’ve had 0 vaccines. I’m never sick. Never. I compete in triathlons and am healthier and look way younger than anyone I know. Never had ear infections as a kid, never had that cough, never had the ailments most kids had.
    Do I believe in vaccines, sure.
    Will I vaccinate my kid, probably yes.
    Do I think people need to stop glorifying vaccines and thinking they are the messiah of medicines and not flawed, yes.
    No one questions vaccines, they have this over simplified view on them: introduce a disease into the body and let the immune system fight it out so it creates a memory of way to do if that same disease is introduced again.
    News flash, our immune systems are not that simple.
    Let’s scrutinize them a little bit more. Let’s do comprehensive unbiased studies on adult child vaccinated vs adult children who haven’t been. I’m talking super in depth studies because they don’t exist.
    I’m not against vaccines, I’m just tired of this polarization: either you think vaccines are murderous or you think they save the world with no consequences. How did we get this way?

    Doctors are not scientists. Keep that in mind.

    • Jessica

      Jessica

      October 31st, 2019

      Great answer!🙏

  4. TERESA MARIE TRUESDELL

    TERESA MARIE TRUESDELL

    October 2nd, 2019

    My child is 13 and has had all her vaccines and she is always sick. She now has Whooping Cough

    • Doctor Doctor

      Doctor Doctor

      December 25th, 2019

      Dear Teresa
      Getting vaccines will not make you immune from illness. They simply save your life, and lessen the effects of some illnesses. Your daughter comes in contact with sick kids everyday, so it’s understandable. Sounds like she has a weak immune system, and would benefit from fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and plenty of sunshine. She’ll out grow her problems, as she matures.

      • James Nichols

        James Nichols

        February 14th, 2020

        This is what everyone needs full stop. The issues here are immunity. Its humanities bad habits that create sick societies not diseases. Diseases are a result of wrong things in the world, everything has a cause. Disease is not normal, it is an abnormality, something that wouldn’t exist in a perfect environment and within perfectly healthy individuals. The answer then is not vaccines, but make people’s habits and the world right.

        We will all wake up one morning in a world where we are told, in order to be healthy we must take vaccines. Stupid. Simply stupid. Humanity has killed itself and is trying desperately to rectify the problem with drugs rather than correct themselves.

    • Danish

      Danish

      January 9th, 2020

      Now I am afraid of vaccination.

      I had been properly vaccinated. But I have been sick most of my life. Once or twice every year. I am currently sick due to cold, again.

      I think vaccination reduces immunity to other diseases such as cold and pneumonia. I think I won’t vaccinate and let Allah ( God) look over my kid.

      • Gary Finnegan

        Gary Finnegan

        January 10th, 2020

        There is no vaccine against the common cold. Discuss your thoughts with health professionals before making health decisions of this importance.

  5. John

    John

    December 25th, 2019

    “Eyes Open” won’t accept reality. People that don’t get vaccinated spread germs. He claims zero vaccinations and zero sickness. I highly doubt his claims, and his fitness. Anyone can make anonymous internet claims. I’ve had all my vaccinations, and I don’t get sick for one reason, because I retired. I don’t come in contact with people as often. Once your children are grown, they don’t come in contact with the population, as much. People spread germs. If you’re lucky enough to land a job, that doesn’t require human inter-action, you’ll be a lot healthier. You don’t have to be a scientist, to realize vaccinations are good for you. Germs and diseases kill innocent people every day.

  6. 4TimesAYear

    4TimesAYear

    April 9th, 2020

    “Vaccines can also help reduce the severity of disease. This means that even if you catch an infectious illness you are less likely to suffer serious complications.”
    Reduce the severity? Less likely to suffer serious complications? Every season I got the vaccine, I got seriously ill 2-3 times and I have even ended up having to be hospitalized. That hasn’t happened since I stopped getting the vaccine. What about the deaths from the flu that happen in people who have been vaccinated? THEY DO HAPPEN.

    • Dj

      Dj

      April 28th, 2020

      But they happen MORE (higher rates) to unvaccinated people… How do u not comprehend this?

    • Davo

      Davo

      June 21st, 2020

      Some people believe anything their told. To deconstruct the raw data will often give you different results due to the fact that the way the info is written is easily misrepresented; mostly by the medical and pharma industry. We still have a neurotoxin that the NAZI’s used in concentration camps being dumped in our water supply for our teeth–no doubt the NAZIs cared about their victims teeth. There is no way to monitor the intake of such a neurotoxin in a water supply, and, that’s unacceptable, but, people listen to their dentist. Funny, though, dentist offices are always full…. one would think otherwise. The principle may be ‘sound’, but, in reality, there’s toxins being injected into our bodies bypassing all the protective ‘skin’ we have; which is there to keep out these toxins, in a manner of speaking. If it’s highly profitable, it’s not a humanitarian effort to save everyone. It’s nonsense. The history of the AMA is corrupts as any abuser of power over the years.

      A massive illusion exists in which the supposed ‘experts’ are always looking out for your best interest and that is RARELY the case, when they are called ‘experts’. In any court of law, besides lawyers being in conflict over the defendant, the ‘experts’ on each side also disagree. How is that? Experts in the same fields disagreeing? And, they are still considered ‘experts’? Wow… that’s okay, it only matters who wins on the day and if it is part of the ‘system’, then it’s acceptable. When it’s not, we’ll seek to destroy you and your opinions.

      Indeed, vaccinated people do get sick, and many unvaccinated people don’t. It’s not black or white, up or down, left or right, me or you like they try to paint everything out to be; it simply isn’t.

Page 2 of 2