THIS IS WHY IT’S IMPORTANT: A reader emails:

I never really paid attention to your talk about vaccinations until my (vaccinated) boyfriend came down with whooping cough. Whooping cough is one of those diseases making a comeback in the last 5 years because of parents irresponsibly refusing to get their kids vaccinated. What’s worse is that the vaccine itself is only effective for 10 years, so most adults are vulnerable to outbreaks. My boyfriend has coughing attacks every day where he vomits and can’t breath, and this is going to last for about 2 months. The only reason he hasn’t caused an outbreak at our college is because he identified the disease online almost right away (even though doctors didn’t believe him) and took precautions.

She sent me her name but I’m leaving it off on general principles here. And yes, as I noted in my column, vaccines aren’t perfect, which is why we need the “herd immunity” effect that protects even those whose vaccinations didn’t take, or expired.