What is herd immunity? And how can it protect us?

What is herd immunity?  And how can it protect us?

"When a high proportion of a community is immune it becomes hard for diseases to spread from person to person. This phenomenon is known as herd immunity. Herd immunity protects people indirectly by reducing their chances of coming into contact with an infection."

With specific emphasis on Chicken Pox and Shingles, Nicholas Geard, ARC DECRA Research Fellow, Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, James Wood, Public health academic, UNSW Australia and Jodie McVernon, Associate Professor, Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne explain why it is important for communities to exceed a given percentage of the population vaccinated to prevent disease outbreaks and why that percentage varies from disease to disease:


CLL reduces the effectiveness of vaccinations, but I still feel it is worth us ensuring our non-live vaccinations are up to date, because how can we expect our family, friends and work colleagues to have vaccinations if we don't have them?


2 Replies

  • I do agree with your comments Neil, I'm convinced my wife getting a flu jab helps tip the scales a bit. I'm just sorry that each year she's had to sit down and explain why to th GP.

    Still every year we get closer to the age qualification line.


  • Hi Neil,

    Interesting article. I remember the chicken pox as a kid and it was not fun! Give me the "jab" every time over being sick. "The Heard Immunity" theory rings true and thank God for all the vaccinations we have to prevent disease.

    "Moo Moo" count me in.


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