How vaccines protect the whole community

'Herd immunity' protects those who cannot tolerate vaccines because of allergies or weakened immune systems


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos





Did you know that when you get vaccinated, you’re protecting yourself and your community too?

This concept is called community immunity, or herd immunity. And it’s an important reason for you and your family to get vaccinated — so you can help keep yourselves and your community healthy.

Germs can travel quickly through a community and make a lot of people sick. If enough people get sick, it can lead to an outbreak. But when enough people are vaccinated against a certain disease, the germs can’t travel as easily from person to person — and the entire community is less likely to get the disease.

That means even people who can’t get vaccinated will have some protection from getting sick. And if a person does get sick, there’s less chance of an outbreak because it’s harder for the disease to spread. Eventually, the disease becomes rare — and sometimes, it’s wiped out altogether.

Community immunity protects everyone. But it’s especially important because some people can’t get vaccinated for certain diseases, such as people with some serious allergies and those with weakened or failing immune systems, like people who have cancer, HIV/AIDS, type 1 diabetes, or other health conditions.

Community immunity is also important for the very small group of people who don’t have a strong immune response from vaccines.

If vaccines have wiped out some diseases in the United States, can we stop getting vaccinated for them?

No. Many vaccine-preventable diseases that we don’t see much in the United States still make people sick in other countries. So it’s possible for travelers to bring these diseases back to the United States, where they could then spread. If we stop getting vaccinated, we won’t be protected from these diseases — community immunity protects us only if enough people continue to get vaccinated.

If you’re traveling outside of the United States, you may need to get vaccines to keep you healthy and safe. Learn more about travel vaccines.

Pneumococcal disease can cause serious infections of the ears, lungs, blood, and brain. Although it’s common in young children, older adults are most at risk for serious pneumococcal infections.

Since the pneumococcal vaccine was approved for use in children, the number of older adults hospitalized for pneumococcal disease has gone way down. This tells us that vaccinating infants protected older adults from the spread of serious pneumococcal infections before a vaccine for older adults was available.



Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments

Pool Rules



MUST READ NEWS

Transitioning to selfhood
By Frances Ruth Harris
— Petra Simone Kraus said she went through "the whole male thing." She had a job in...

Read more »
Image

Thanks to Newton Hospital and Belle Reve for A+ care
To the Editor:
My family and I want to thank Newton Hospital for the wonderful care I received from everyone on the staff when I fell and broke my arm at midnight on the...

Read more »

Pike District Attorney finds no voter fraud in the November election
— Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin said he has found no evidence of voter fraud in the Nov. 6 election.
The Pike County...

Read more »
Image

'A heart as big as the universe'
By Marilyn Rosenthal
— About 150 people braved the snowstorm's aftermath last Friday to attend Mass at St. Patrick's Catholic...

Read more »
Image

VIDEOS



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Community Newspapers



MOST READ

Business & Real Estate
Upgraded spacious four-bedroom colonial
  • Nov 19, 2018
Local News
What’s up with air resistance?
  • Nov 18, 2018

MOST COMMENTED



Weather in Milford, PA