Herd Immunity (aka, community immunity and population immunity.) refers to passive, indirect protection from infectious disease when a large percentage of the population is immune. This overall immunity helps protect those within the population that are not immune. The higher the percentage of those that are immune the less chance of a particular disease taking hold in a given population and therefore the less chance of someone who is at risk coming in contact with someone who is infected.
There are generally two ways that a person can gain immunity. They can recover from an infection naturally and gain lasting immunity or through artificial means such as a vaccine. The idea here is that once a certain level of immunity has been reached the disease will gradually be eliminated from the population. Such was the case with smallpox in 1977. Herd immunity only applies to diseases that are contagious, whereas they can be transmitted from one person to the next. It does not apply to disease such as tetanus which is infectious but not contagious.
The main focus of herd immunity is to protect those that are at risk, and it is for this reason that it quickly turns into a highly debated moral issue. Individuals can be at risk for a variety of reasons, most notably it is those with weak or compromised immune function such as newborns, cancer patients receiving treatment such as chemotherapy, or those with any type of auto-immune disorder, etc. For these individuals contraction of a pathogen either naturally or through a vaccine is likely to be problematic. The hope is that they don’t come in contact with any disease in the first place, therefore they must rely on a healthy herd around them. And the current conventional approach is the use of vaccines. Still other individuals may be at risk because of lowered immune function and they cannot utilize a vaccine due to allergies of ingredients, such as eggs, which are used to grow cultures.
For many years now the only approach to herd immunity and a perceived healthy population has been through the use of vaccines, so much so that the number of recommended vaccines by the CDC has doubled since the 1980’s to 14 today. For many, this number is far too high and the total volume of vaccines is too much for any young child to handle. In fact, the CDC and the medical community call for a child to receive their first vaccine within a few hours after birth – and that vaccine is for hepatitis B – which is a sexually transmitted disease.
At this time there are a growing number of voices that are speaking out, not against the desire for herd immunity and the benefits of a healthy population, but against the use of vaccines to achieve this immunity. Example: Many object to the dozens of chemical toxins in vaccines, that are known to be harmful, citing that they are actually contributing to other significant health issues within the population such as neurological damage. This includes Autism. And some object to ingredients used to make vaccines such as aborted fetal tissue. Still others object purely based on very personal reasons, and the desire to avoid harmful toxins and pathogens injected directly into their body or that of their children.
It is difficult to adequately qualify and/or quantify the success of vaccines. Primarily because they were introduced at a time when the general quality of life and overall diet and health here in this country was improving rapidly. Many argue that although infectious disease, like smallpox, was essentially eradicated, and others, such as polio and measles, were significantly reduced but not eliminated buy vaccines, they were already in decline because of these improved health standards.
The reality is there is a way to achieve Herd Immunity without the use of vaccines. And that is for every member of the population to take personal responsibility for his or her health and the health of their children to the point were they are ready and able to handle in a natural way any pathogen that they may be exposed to.
Written by DMK of Seven Grains.