what's the harm?

What is this site?

List of Topics


Famous people

Scientific studies






RSS Feed New cases (RSS)


For more on this topic:

368,379 people killed, 306,096 injured and over $2,815,931,000 in economic damages

What's the harm in vaccine denial?

Despite their widespread beneficial effects, some people deny that vaccines work, or accuse them of causing various side-effects.  Read more about vaccine denial

Here are 4,403 people who were harmed by someone not thinking critically.

Micha Giesbrecht & "Natalie" & 4 others

Bad Salzuflen, Germany

Incurable encephalitis (SSPE), measles

The 11 year old son of anti-vaccinationists was brought to the doctor with measles. Several other children in the waiting room were infected with measles via this exposure. Two developed SSPE, a chronic progressive encephalitis that is often fatal. Read more & more

Photo of Katie McCarron

Katie McCarron

Age: 3
Morton, Illinois

Murdered by her mother
May 13, 2006

Influenced by those who believe childhood vaccines might cause autism, Katie's mother felt extreme guilt over vaccinating the autistic child. This led to a depression, and the death of the child at her mother's hands. Read more & more

Daniel Rae

Age: 7
Santa Barbara, California

Pertussis (whooping cough)

He was vaccinated against pertussis, but vaccines are never 100% effective. He caught the disease from an unvaccinated playmate. "He was as sick as any child I've ever seen," his mother said, and he had to take drugs for four years to recover. Read more & more

1,600 British children

England, UK

2006 - 2007

In just 2006 and 2007 there were 2,000 cases of measles in the UK. That's more than the previous decade, a surplus of roughly 1,600 cases. The increase is blamed on parents reluctant to vaccinate their children. Read more & more

131 people

United States

Measles, 15 hospitalized

Measles cases reached their worst levels in over a decade in the U.S. in 2008, with 131 cases including 15 serious enough to be hospitalized just in the first half of the year. 90% of these people were not vaccinated against the disease. Read more & more

137 Blackfeet reservation residents

Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Browning, Montana


One child whose parents claimed a religious exemption from vaccination was the source of a measles outbreak that affected 137 people. Read more

190 Canadian children

Agassiz, Kent, BC, Canada

February - August, 2008

A religious community with a low rate of vaccinations was the source of a mumps outbreak. 116 Confirmed and 74 suspected cases occurred in a region that normally has 10. Mumps is easily preventable via vaccine. Read more

5 Minnesota infants

Age: Infants

One death, four ill
January 2009

The largest outbreak of Hib meningitis in this state since 1992 has occurred among several infants who were unvaccinated due to parental refusal. One infant died, several others were injured. Read more

6 children

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Died (untreated measles)

Religion (Faith Tabernacle) Read more

65 children

South Whidbey, Washington

Pertussis (whooping cough)
May - July 2008

Because of parental resistance to vaccinations in this area, an outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) has occurred. This has caused cancellations of events such as the local Little League All Star tournament to contain the outbreak. Read more & more

9 children + 250 other people

Age: 3 weeks - 7 years
Jerusalem, Israel

9 Dead, 250 Measles cases
2002 - 2007

Refusal to vaccinate children has been growing in Israel, resulting in many preventable deaths from illnesses such as whooping cough and measles. In 2007 an ultra-orthodox community in Jerusalem had 250 cases of measles. Read more

thousands of children

northern Nigeria

February 26, 2004

Muslim clerics have spread the conspiracy theory that the polio vaccine is a western plot to sterilize or murder Africans. This has result in a boycott in some areas of Nigeria. This is just as the WHO was on the verge of wiping out polio entirely. Read more & more

Return to the list of topics