n 2011, journalist Lise Barnéoud and her 2-month-old contracted measles during the Die, France epidemic linked to “anti-vaxxers.” After both survived, Barnéoud (among the hapless patients not fully vaccinated as children) dug into the outbreak’s impacts in her book Immunisés? Un nouveau regard sur les vaccins. Although deaths were minimal (and mostly among people already immunocompromised), the 2008-2011 outbreak cost France millions each year. Indirect costs included fewer hospital beds for critical emergencies, lost productivity, and increased hospital-acquired illnesses.
The heaviest burden, Barnéoud writes, was on the family and friends of those who suffered preventable deaths. “From their perspective, their loved ones died because of someone else’s ideology or self-centeredness.”