But these goddamned retrograde vaccine fear-mongers are making a resurgence and getting people killed. Again.
So here are the basics; inoculation has been practiced for hundreds of years. It started with some royal physicians drying and consuming the smallpox sores of prior smallpox victims. That was, they would let the sores sit for some time (letting the disease weaken), generally in sealed containers and then consumed them or fed them to patients to protect them from the disease.
Gross, yes, but better than dying.
Similar methods were used until the development of the reliable and not-disgusting smallpox vaccine. In fact, smallpox was the driver of most research and experimentation in this field. It's where the word "vaccination" came from, in fact. Why? Because smallpox killed twenty to sixty percent of infected adults.
It killed eighty percent of children.
How it works is simple: once a virus or disease infects your system, the immune system detects the the disease, analyzes the disease, develops counter-agents, produces counter-agent and then sends those agents (antibodies) to destroy the disease. But in many cases, especially for aggressive illnesses like smallpox, the immune system cannot create the antibodies fast enough to destroy the disease before the disease cripples the body and kills you. Vaccines introduce a weak or dead version of the disease which the immune system attacks in the same way, but the disease is too weak (or too dead) to cause any problems.
Here's the important part: the immune system records the targets they destroy and what destroyed them., so that when you get infected with real threatening version, the immune system can skip the "develop" step and move straight into the "production" phase. Vaccination is, in effect, a practice round.
The concept of inoculation has been around for, literally, centuries and the mechanism is today fully understood.
There is no reason to not vaccinate. The only studies that demonstrate a connection between vaccines and developmental illness are explicit and deliberate frauds. The study that "proved" the connection was funded by a law firm looking to sue vaccine makers, and pushed by people just looking to make a name for themselves and for easy headlines.
When people don't vaccines based on lies, they don't just put themselves or their kids at risk. They put everyone around them at risk. These selfish, self-centered assholes serve as vectors for diseases that can kill people who cannot get vaccinated, like people who are too old, or are too young, and therefore do not have a full-strength immune system.
So their eight year-old gets measles because they were not vaccinated, and go to the doctor's office to get some (ineffective) treatment, and the 8 month-old that was there for their regular check-up gets infected and dies. It's the fault of the self-righteous, over-bearing, deluded jackass parent who didn't get their child vaccinated that the infant is dead.
Not vaccinating kills people.
So then we have Senator Rand Paul, who I liked until today, repeating the bullshit lie that vaccines cause
And vaccinate your children. Don't be an idiotic, dipshit, arrogant, self-absorbed, jackass hipster that gets people killed.