A poster on Bob's forum asked:
dr. sears hypothetical question... by - posted on 12/10/2010
my kids are 3 and a half and 1- both boys. we live in ny, and they havent had any vaccines. i would like to eventually travel with them, normal family spots- carribean, europe.... would you vax if you were me, and if so, which would you do? thanks!
Dr. Bob relishes these opportunities - here is his answer:
DR. Bob Answers by Dr. Bob - posted on 12/10/2010
Hypothetically, if I was a doctor answering a forum question pretending to be the person asking the question, my answer would be that I wouldn't do any vaccines just for disease coverage for the type of vacation travel that you, I mean "I", would be doing.
The OP thinks that is a reason to "lol" - I think it is a reason to facepalm. Unvaccinated children travelling out of the US, for example to Europe, are the major source of importation of measles - last demonstrated by the San Diego outbreak.
The index patient was an unvaccinated boy aged 7 years who had visited Switzerland with his family, returning to the United States on January 13, 2008. He had fever and sore throat on January 21, followed by cough, coryza, and conjunctivitis..../...
During January 31--February 19, a total of 11 additional measles cases in unvaccinated infants and children aged 10 months--9 years were identified. These 11 cases included both of the index patient's siblings (rash onset: February 3), five children in his school (rash onset: January 31--February 17), and four additional children (rash onset: February 6--10) who had been in the pediatrician's office on January 25 at the same time as the index patient. Among these latter four patients, three were infants aged over 12 months. One of the three infants was hospitalized for 2 days for dehydration; another infant traveled by airplane to Hawaii on February 9 while infectious.
Great job, who ever had suggested to the parents of that index case that it was ok to travel to Switzerland (in the middle of an ongoing measles outbreak with more than 3400 cases, 8 encephalitis and a pediatric death) with unvaccinated children.
To suggest, even "hypothetically" that no vaccination was necessary to travel outside the US is highly irresponsible. Parents who leave their children unvaccinated when taking them into the middle of an outbreak potentially make their children murder weapons – we posted the story of the pre-teen who spread measles in a waiting room as a consequence of which two children are now dying a very slow and horrific death.