Young people don't remember the times before vaccination programs, when dangerous diseases ran rampant through first world communities. To give an example, 3-4 million people a year got measles in the US before vaccines, with 400 to 500 dying and 48,000 hospitalized. In 2016, 70 people were reported to have measles.
The cost in human lives and suffering is enormous. When immunization rates break down, the most vulnerable suffer. In Japan in the 1970s, immunization rates dropped and pertussis rates skyrocketed to 13,000 cases with 41 deaths. Diphtheria and tetanus are almost never seen anymore, but have high fatality rates. Viruses such as measles, mumps and rubella can be treated but not cured.
Beyond the death rate, it is far less expensive to prevent a disease than to care for someone who has contracted the illness. The Disneyland outbreak of 2011 cost the state between 2.6 and 5.4 million dollars, as measles is so contagious it can infect 90 percent of the people exposed and the virus itself can remain in a room for up to two hours after an infected person has left the room.
Herd immunity is an observable biological wonder. The more people there are in a community who are immune to a disease, the less likely it is that a disease will spread throughout a community. The disease stops spreading, as it has nowhere to go. The very young, immunocompromised, and those for whom the vaccine didn't work can hide safely in the herd.
When large numbers of people choose not to vaccinate, they provide a large number of disease vectors to make it easy for the disease to spread. It is important to get your vaccines and immunizations in a timely manner. Visit Downtown Health Mart Pharmacy in Ellensburg, WA, your local friendly pharmacy and health care facility, to get your up-to-date vaccines.