School immunization laws are one of the most effective ways to prevent disease outbreaks and protect our children from vaccine-preventable diseases. Outbreaks of diseases such as diphtheria, polio, and measles were common in schools before vaccines were available. Schools were major sites for transmission of these diseases. School immunization laws work and now these diseases have almost vanished from the United States. We all have our parents and grandparents to thank for supporting these laws. If we keep vaccinating our children we can look forward to a future when these diseases will be eradicated.
Vaccination of school-age children is one of the most important ways we can protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases.
In 1980 an outbreak of measles in Oklahoma resulted in 775 cases of measles and one death. The majority of the measles cases occurred in school-aged children.
Some children, for medical reasons, such as compromised immune systems, cannot receive all vaccines. These children must rely on the community to help protect them from exposure to these diseases by community wide vaccination.
School vaccine requirements ensure that most people are protected through immunization.
Since contagious diseases spread among susceptible people, vaccination reduces the chance of infection and outbreaks in schools and communities by reducing the number of unprotected people.
Watch an animation demonstrating herd immunity at this web site: History of Vaccines.