So – as part of my World Immunization Week posts – here is yet another (!) great infographic (y’all know how I feel about these..). But seriously, this one (another helpful product of the CDC) shows why vaccinations are not just about you. That they protect each of us individually is good (see yesterday’s post!) – that they protect everyone is what makes them truly great. And I think this is what gets lost in the vaccine “debate” (I use quotation marks because it’s not actually a debate among scientists or public health experts): the decision not to vaccinate has repercussions well beyond the individual. It affects the entire herd immunity – the community. When we reach levels of immunity coverage lower than a certain point, diseases are able to take hold and spread. For those of us who choose to get vaccinated, we can usually (*but not always) sustain such spread. But for those that can’t vaccinated – immune compromised folks or babies for example, Baby O among them – they are left very at risk. I believe in individual liberty and bodily autonomy – but decisions that have such tangible consequences for others are simply not that. And it’s when we confuse individual autonomy with actions that impact everyone that we lose sight of a common humanity and dependencies. It’s when we lose sight of civilization.