A vaccine is supposed to protect against disease. That's why we have vaccinations for children, after all.

But the dirty secret about vaccinations for children is that they don't always work as advertised -- and if you want to see a prime example of a major vaccine failure, look no further than the mumps outbreak of 2009.

This one struck the Orthodox Jewish community in the New York-New Jersey area, and spread through all-boys schools, ultimately infecting 3,502 children.

But according to a look at data on 1,648 of those children, 89 percent were given two mumps shots before the outbreak, while another 8 percent had one shot. That's a total vaccination rate of 97 percent among the kids who eventually caught the disease they were supposedly protected against.

And that's not the only shocker here.

The numbers show that the few kids who were unvaccinated actually had the lowest infection rate of all, while the kids who had two shots were the most likely to get sick.

But it's one thing to merely not protect kids. It's quite another to expose them to risks at the same time -- and that's exactly what's happening here with vaccinations for children.

The mumps shot is almost never given out by itself. It is part of a combination vaccine called MMR, for measles, mumps, and rubella. It's a shot that has been linked to seizures, bleeding disorders, and brain damage.

Even the CDC acknowledges those potential side effects, by the way.

The shot has also been considered by some medical authorities as a cause of autism.

It's a clear case of a vaccine that's providing plenty of risk but little to no benefit -- and even if you support vaccinations for children, there's no reason these shots can't be spaced apart and delivered separately to minimize those risks. But parents and doctors are handcuffed, since the individual components of this vaccine are not available anymore.

And anyone who even asks for this common-sense approach -- individual shots spaced out instead of delivered all at once -- risks being branded an anti-vaccine radical. Some parents are ostracized and even bullied for daring to question the vaccine schedule.

Not the vaccinations for children, mind you -- just the schedule.

Don't allow anyone to bully you. I encourage you to read up on vaccines, inform yourself, and make the best decisions for your family with the help of a holistic doctor who will respect your choices.