A confession about immunizations

It may be hard to believe, but I have never seen a case of chicken pox as a physician.  Yes, even after seven years I have not seen a single case.  Of course I have read about it – I have even experienced it when I was in second grade but I have never diagnosed it.  

I think this remarkable fact illustrates the effectiveness of immunizations. I thought about their effectiveness as a pertussis outbreak engulfed our county this winter.  Pertussis immunization is highly effective however it does wane some with time. Due to the high number of persons who are nonvaccinated, several population areas are below the herd immunity threshold.  As a consequence the new immunization recommendation is that persons in area of outbreak be immunized again and all persons have a one time booster. 

This winter the Wall Street Journal had a powerful visual reminder of the power of immunization: https://twitter.com/javanagh/status/569400330137559042

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