What Vaccine Refusal Really Costs

Measles in Arizona

We can argue endlessly, and do, about people who refuse vaccination for themselves or their children. Under law, they have the right to take that risk. But what this Arizona outbreak makes clear is how many more people are forced to assume that risk without being consulted: not only the infants, elderly and immune-compromised among those 8,321 people exposed in this outbreak, but the hospital shareholders and taxpayers who paid the bill for it to be contained. Until we start counting up those costs as well, we won’t achieve an honest accounting of vaccine refusal’s true price.

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