Herd immunity may make us sound like a bunch of cows, but it is an important phenomenon in the field of vaccinations.
You get herd immunity when you vaccinate enough of the population that the illness can’t get a foothold. Widespread use of measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) shot has almost eliminated measles* for example.
But now in this time of alternative reality, misinformation, and loopholes in vaccination regulations that allow parents to opt out for their kids, is encouraging the “anti-vaxxer” movement.
A recent Stanford University lead study says you have to maintain a vaccination rate between 90 and 95 percent to provide adequate herd immunity.
The current rate is 93 per cent level. But if it drops by 5% they warn, it could result in a three-fold increase in cases of measles.
*Measles is a highly contagious viral infection with no specific treatment that usually affects young children, causing a febrile illness, with prominent rash lasting 10-12 days. But it can cause complications like blindness, encephalitis, pneumonia and a death – with a rate between 0.2 and 10% depending on the child’s nutritional status.