What can happen if I don’t vaccinate my baby?

Short Answer

Choosing not to vaccinate your child puts him/her at a much higher risk of contracting one of the 14 vaccine-preventable infectious diseases, even here in Vermont. While some children’s immune systems are able to cope with disease without immunization, other kids – even healthy ones – can suffer dangerous, long-term effects or die from these infections. It’s impossible to know how your child will react to a disease until he or she is infected, and by then it may be too late for treatment of any kind.




Many people incorrectly assume that a choice not to get a vaccine is a risk‐free choice, but it isn’t. A decision to delay or refuse a vaccine is a decision to place your child, and possibly others, at risk for a vaccine‐preventable disease. Studies have shown that unimmunized children are more likely to get vaccine‐preventable diseases if there is an outbreak than those who have been immunized. In a global society, the risk of vaccine‐preventable diseases is unclear, but we know that over 85 percent of U.S. measles cases in 2010 were imported from other countries. Unimmunized children may be excluded from school during an outbreak of a vaccine‐preventable disease.

Vaccine-preventable diseases also have many social and economic costs: sick children miss school and can cause parents to lose time from work. These diseases also result in doctor’s visits, hospitalizations, and even premature deaths.

Here is more info on how personal-belief exemptions can put others at risk: http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2069.pdf