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Vaccination and the End of the Umbrella Effect

December 20, 2016

I’ll be rolling up my sleeve today, getting yet another vaccine. This time to ward off shingles.

Who would have ever thought getting a vaccine would be such a political decision. In my time of growing up in the 50s’ and 60’s, it was just a matter of course. The kids would be lined up down the hall at school and every child received their vaccination.

Since those days and before, common deadly illnesses have been so reduced to no longer be on any present day parent’s radar. These days celebrities as self-selected spokespersons stand up to advise of the perils of vaccination never having lived through the horrors of mass illnesses and deaths of the young and old. Junk science reigns and large groups of people have let this easy preventative strategy fall to the scrap book of history.

That can all change of course.

The argument that we no longer need vaccines due to no one getting sick as they did is at risk of ending. You see, there is something known as the umbrella effect. With 90% of the population vaccinated, the likelihood of the transmission of these diseases is far less likely, so even not being immunized, you are at less risk of ever contracting these viruses.

However, vaccination rates are plummeting well below the 90% threshold that provides for the umbrella effect. There are massive holes in the umbrella that used to cover those who were unvaccinated. Now the unvaccinated are exposed and with greater frequency, we are starting to see outbreaks of diseases we once thought were eradicated. Those who are vaccinated of course simply do not have the same risk profile of those who are not vaccinated.

So, wear your seat-belt; don’t text and drive; don’t smoke; and as for vaccination… do what you want.

All I know is that I am fully vaccinated. I got my flu shot earlier this fall and I am looking forward to the shingles vaccine today.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship issue. I am available in person and by Skype.

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Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

If your relationship is faltering, then set it as your priority.

Read: Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships

One Comment
  1. Manjit permalink

    In my home 🏡,
    4 of us had the flu shot;
    2 of us did not.
    3 of us are sick.

    What I get from Gary’s article:

    Live and let live.

    There is room in life for us to choose what feels right,
    as an individual, and
    as a collective society.

    I am grateful that people get the flu shot.
    I am grateful that people don’t 🙂

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