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Vaccines and the Lottery: Winners and Losers at Disneyland

Vaccines and the Lottery: Winners and Losers at Disneyland

The recent billion-plus dollar Power Ball Lottery payout had two sets of winners and millions of losers. The obvious set of winners were the individuals who had the winning numbers. The other winners, of course, were the state governments who win with every ticket sold.
When someone receives a vaccine, they are in a sense participating in a lottery. They are paying for something in hopes of receiving a benefit in the future. Most vaccine recipients are “winners.” They develop an immunity to a disease they wanted to avoid. Unfortunately, some vaccine recipients are “losers.” They pay for and get a vaccine but for whatever reason do not develop an immunity and may still contract the disease if exposed.

©Ken Wolter/
For example, in 2014 a measles outbreak began in individuals visiting Disneyland in California. The cases spread to 6 states before public health departments were able to stop the outbreak. Out of the 125 reported cases, some were in unvaccinated individuals, some in children under a year of age and too young to have received the vaccine, and, sadly, some cases were in individuals who had received the recommended 2 shots of MMR.

A few questions for you on details of the outbreak:

1. Out of the 125 cases, how many were in persons fully immunized?

A.  2

B.  5

C.  8

D. 15

Please leave answer below; click here for answer, discussion and next question.


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