One Oregon Boy, Zero Vaccines

For 30-odd years, tetanus had been an “almost mythical” ailment in Oregon, the horrors of which most doctors had only seen in textbooks. Then in 2017, an unvaccinated 6-year-old boy contracted tetanus while playing on a farm, The Washington Post reported.

It took 2 months and $800,000 to put him in the clear, according to the CDC’s recent case study that quickly became one of the agency's most-read weekly reports. It describes the boy’s “perilous” condition—including lockjaw and spasms—and arduous treatment that left him on a ventilator for a month, The New York Times reported.

“When you see someone suffer from this disease, you completely understand why we immunize,” says Judith A. Guzman-Cottrill, lead author of the report and one of the boy’s doctors.

Not so for the boy’s parents, who despite the experience, still declined to complete his course of vaccination.

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