Informed Choice Washington

Community Immunity?

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Community Immunity is the new way of saying “herd immunity.” Does the term apply to all vaccines?


CDC says this:

“Community immunity: A situation in which a sufficient proportion of a population is immune to an infectious disease (through vaccination and/or prior illness) to make its spread from person to person unlikely. Even individuals not vaccinated (such as newborns and those with chronic illnesses) are offered some protection because the disease has little opportunity to spread within the community. Also known as herd immunity.”

For a vaccine to be able to create community immunity, it must be able to prevent colonization and transmission of the targeted infection, and individual protection must be long-lasting.

Why have there been recent outbreaks of whooping cough (pertussis) and mumps in fully vaccinated populations?

The pertussis vaccine may suppress the symptoms of someone recently vaccinated (about 70% effective) for a short time (18 months to a few years), but if the person is exposed to pertussis, they will fully colonize the bacteria and likely not know it. They may have no symptoms at all, or symptoms that feel like a little cold or allergy, and so they don’t realize they are spreading infection. It’s actually a very dangerous dilemma. See more on our Pertussis page.

The mumps vaccine has proved not to provide long-lasting protection. The vaccination of young children has pushed the infection into older populations. The mumps vaccine is included in the trivalent MMR. When that vaccine was first introduced, just one dose was thought to provide lifetime protection. Protection waned much more quickly than anticipated, and a second dose was added to the pediatric schedule. The ACIP has now added a third dose. The increase in sales will help fund Merck’s legal defense: they are heading to court, accused by two of their own virologists of falsifying effectiveness data. You can read more about that HERE.

All the vaccines in use today are either not designed to prevent the spread of infection, or the nature of the targeted infection makes it a poor candidate for vaccination, or the vaccine is flawed, or the artificial suppression of one strain of infection is leading to the increase of other strains, or the vaccines are causing other chronic health issues–so there is no net benefit. To learn about the risks of vaccines (and why vaccine policy reform is desperately needed) please explore our website.

A couple things all vaccines have common:

  • No vaccine is capable of providing full protection in extended periods of close-quarter settings. For example, a study recently showed the flu vaccine couldn’t prevent spread of the flu in a household.
  • Non-responders and low-responders make up a significant portion of the population.
  • Booster vaccination effectiveness is often low and short-lasting.
  • Nature is resilient. Bacteria and viruses evolve and mutate. When one strain is suppressed through vaccination, other strains move in and thrive. It’s a bit like whack-a-mole.

Below are explanations of some currently targeted infections and the limitations of their vaccines to add to community immunity.

  • Pertussis, diphtheria, and the inactivated polio vaccines are not capable of preventing colonization and transmission of infection if exposed to the infection. They are for limited personal protection only.
  • Pertussis vaccine creates asymptomatic or low symptom carriers who unwittingly spread infection and possibly transmit the virus to vulnerable individuals, and individual protection last just 18 months to a few years. Outbreaks are occurring in fully vaccinated populations. The 2013 meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors at the CDC revealed that pertussis variants (PRN-negative strains) currently circulating in the USA acquired a selective advantage to infect those who are up-to-date for their DTaP boosters, meaning that people who are up-to-date are more likely to be infected, and thus contagious, than people who are not vaccinated. Newborns are catching pertussis from fully vaccinated siblings.
  • Rubella vaccine has not been studied for clinical efficacy in prevention of the disease.
  • Mumps vaccine is not effective enough to impart the required threshold of herd immunity. Outbreaks are occurring in fully vaccinated populations. Merck is facing litigation; they have been  accused by two of their own virologist of falsifying mumps data.
  • Measles vaccine is not durable enough to ensure long-term protection; the majority of those vaccinated are capable of developing a modified form of the disease and possibly transmitting the virus to vulnerable individuals. As the pre-vaccine era population (born in or before early 1960’s) ages and shrinks, so too does the pool of people with vigorous long-lasting natural immunity.
  • Chickenpox vaccine is not utilized by other developed countries for mass vaccination despite availability because it is a factor in increasing the rate of shingles in some age groups. The chickenpox virus, whether wild or from the vaccine, is never completely cleared. The virus goes dormant and can become active in times of stress, illness, or poor nutritional situations.
  • Tetanus vaccine is aimed at preventing a disease which is non-contagious.
  • HepB is blood-borne and therefore does not spread in a public setting.  Saliva transmission is exceedingly rare. “. . . overall, the risk of transmission of hepatitis B from a biting child of unknown hepatitis B serological status appears to be extremely low.” In comparison, 1557 deaths in children under age 3 following HepB vaccination have been reported to VAERS (between 1-10% of adverse events reported to VAERS).

NOTE: Many are unaware that vaccines are classified as “biologicals.” They are not manufactured like other drugs. Viruses and bacteria must be grown in labs in some sort of medium that supports their replication. The mediums used include: human diploid cells derived from aborted fetal tissue or animal cells derived from aborted animals and/or their organs. Animals include but are not limited to dogs, cows, monkeys, pigs, hamsters, and even insects. Fully informed consent is being violated when this information is not provided to vaccine recipients as residuals of these ingredients may pose religious or moral issues for some. See the CDCV vaccine excipient list. Also, health issues may arise because the presence of human and animal DNA and fragments. See Dr. Deisher’s information at Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute and Judy Mikovits, PhD., who discovered animal retroviruses in vaccines.

True community protection from all communicable infections, not just those few infections industry has developed vaccines, is not complicated. As shown above, current vaccines have severe limitations, and as this website shows, come with risks each individual must weigh. But everyone can act responsibly for the benefit of the community by following tried and true methods of infection control: wash hands often, cover coughs and sneezes, stay home when infectious, and make lifestyle choices that boost your own natural immune health.


For years, information has circulated highlighting the reduction in disease incidence after the introduction of vaccines. It is important to understand these reductions in the context of real world outcomes.

Data on disease reduction due to vaccination do not consider:

  1. unintended consequences of a vaccination program;
  2. changes in diagnostic criteria;
  3. practitioner-bias against diagnosing the disease in a vaccinated individual; and
  4. the human and financial burden of adverse reactions to vaccines.

Unintended consequences and non-specific effects may outweigh benefits.

Vaccine-targeted strains can mutate or be replaced by more severe non-vaccine strains. Examples:

HPV: As vaccine-strain infections have declined, non-vaccine strain infections have increased. It is unknown the impact these other strains will have on cancer rates.1, 2 See also our HPV page.

HIB: Type replacement is also an issue with the Hib vaccine: “Following routine childhood vaccination against Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease in Brazil in 1999, passive laboratory surveillance reported increasing numbers of non-b serotypes and nontypeable H. influenzae (NTHi) from meningitis cases.”3

PNEUMOCOCCUS: In a study at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Utah, isolates of S. pneumoniae from children with invasive pneumococcal disease.  While PCV7 serogroups decreased during that time, non-PCV serogroups increased.  Diseases from the non-PCV groups in the community were very severe, and there was a higher rate of death in the non-PCV7 strains that occurred.5

POLIO: In India, the incidence of acute flaccid paralysis has risen in direct proportion to the rate at which polio has been reduced.6

Other infections may increase as the vaccine-targeted infection decreases.  Overall disease burden may not be reduced. Example:

FLU:  A recent study has shown increased risk of noninfluenza respiratory virus infections associated with receipt of inactivated influenza vaccine.7 See also our Flu page.

Widespread use of the vaccine can cause an increase in a more serious form of the infection. Example:

CHICKENPOX:  Other countries have decided against adding the chicken pox vaccine to the schedule because of its contribution to the increased rate of shingles, which is more dangerous and more expensive to treat. “No re-calculation of the cost to society due to morbidity associated with shingles effecting lost work days has, to our knowledge, been considered in rendering public health policy on chicken pox vaccination.”8

Vaccine can fail to prevent transmission, shifting risk to vulnerable populations. Examples:

PERTUSSIS: The acellular pertussis containing vaccines are viable for personal protection only. They are about 70% effective, wane after 18 months to five years, and do not prevent the colonization or transmission of pertussis, thereby creating asymptomatic or low-symptomatic carriers who can unknowingly transmit the disease to others.  An example of this is a grandparent who gets the Tdap vaccine before visiting a newborn grandchild, but rather than protecting the child, the grandparent may be an asymptomatic carrier and spread pertussis to the infant.9 See also our Pertussis page.

MMR: Waning vaccine-induced immunity and the fraction of the population called “low vaccine responders” are driving the “measles paradox” that the Mayo Clinic’s Gregory Poland describes: “The apparent paradox is that as measles immunization rates rise to high levels in a population, measles becomes a disease of immunized persons.” For example, in studies of measles outbreaks in Quebec, Canada, and China, outbreaks of measles still happen, even when vaccination compliance is in the highest bracket (95-97% or even 99%).10

As naturally immune populations age and decline, and society moves into an era of artificial immunization for all age groups, the limitations of the MMR are being revealed.

Without the robust natural immunity that the older population possessed, the apparent initial success of the measles vaccine has not been sustained. An unintended consequence is that without robust maternal immunity, infants are now contracting measles at an age when it is more dangerous for them to get it.

Changed diagnostic criteria and the renaming of diseases both artificially deflate the numbers of reported cases of a particular disease. Example:

POLIO:  Claims about the reduction in polio cases do not account for changes in diagnostic criteria after the introduction of the polio vaccine. Many patients who would have been diagnosed with polio in the pre-vaccine years were diagnosed with “aseptic meningitis” after the vaccine was introduced because of the newly increased length of time a patient would need to be paralyzed in order to be diagnosed with polio. As polio cases went down, aseptic meningitis cases went up.  There was no reduction in disease, but simply a change in diagnosing and naming the disease, which resulted in the appearance of a precipitous drop in polio cases.12, 13

Practitioner-bias against diagnosing the disease in a vaccinated individual.

This is a dangerous situation. When doctors refuse to believe a patient could actually have the disease he or she has been vaccinated for, a failure to provide proper treatment can put the patient at risk, or a failure to quarantine can put others at risk.14

The financial and human burden of adverse events and vaccine injury.

Vaccine adverse events are grossly underreported, according to the CDC, because the adverse event reporting system is passive and unenforced. Most adverse events are not counted and not studied. As a consequence, the burden of vaccine injury may outweigh any perceived benefits of using the vaccine. When the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act removed all liability from vaccine manufacturers and providers for any injury or deaths caused by their vaccines, the Department of Health and Human Services was given virtually all responsibility for vaccine safety. HHS has failed in its safety obligations as outlined in the the 1986 Act regarding:

  • Deficiencies in the Pre-Licensure Safety Review of Pediatric Vaccines
  • Post-Licensure Surveillance of Vaccine Adverse Events
  • Identifying What Injuries Are Caused by Vaccines
  • Identifying Which Children are Susceptible to Vaccine Injury15

Until the above safety issues are resolved, there is no way to quantify the human burden of adverse events and vaccine injury.

SUMMARY of Unintended Consequences

These examples represent just a fraction of vaccination issues that are not incorporated into vaccine policies. It is not enough for public health authorities to look only at the reduction in cases of vaccine-targeted diseases; they must also consider the unintended consequences, changes in diagnostic criteria, a bias against diagnosing a vaccinated individual, and the burden of adverse reactions and vaccine injury.

Other important issues include the absence of double-blind placebo studies, CDC and drug company whistleblower testimony, and the removal of safety incentive by the 1986 NCVIA. In order to justify the use of a specific vaccine or vaccination program, there must be a net benefit – a clear reduction in human suffering and monetary cost. Our government regulatory agencies are heavily financially invested in promoting vaccines to the greatest extent possible, and Health and Human Services has failed to do the vaccine safety studies it was required to do by law. It is up to the public to look deeper at the statistics and consider whether or not the benefits outweigh the full impact and risks.


  1. Fischer, Sonja, et al. “Shift in prevalence of HPV types in cervical cytology specimens in the era of HPV vaccination.” Oncology Letters, D.A. Spandidos, July 2016,
  2. “Comparison of HPV prevalence between HPV-Vaccinated and non-Vaccinated young adult women (20–26 years).” Taylor & Francis,
  3. Zanella, R C, et al. “Changes in serotype distribution of Haemophilus influenzae meningitis isolates identified through laboratory-Based surveillance following routine childhood vaccination against H. influenzae type b in Brazil.” Vaccine., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 8 Nov. 2011,
  5. Byington, C L, et al. “Temporal trends of invasive disease due to Streptococcus pneumoniae among children in the intermountain west: emergence of nonvaccine serogroups.” Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 July 2005,
  6. Vashisht, Neetu, et al. “Trends in Nonpolio Acute Flaccid Paralysis Incidence in India 2000 to 2013.” Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatrics, 1 Feb. 2015,
  7. Cowling, Benjamin J., et al. “Increased Risk of Noninfluenza Respiratory Virus Infections Associated With Receipt of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine.” Clinical Infectious Diseases: An Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, Oxford University Press, 15 June 2012,
  8. Goldman, G.S., and P.G. King. “Review of the United States universal varicella vaccination program: Herpes zoster incidence rates, cost-Effectiveness, and vaccine efficacy based primarily on the Antelope Valley Varicella Active Surveillance Project data.” Vaccine, Elsevier Science, 25 Mar. 2013,
  9. Althouse, Benjamin M., and Samuel V. Scarpino. “Asymptomatic transmission and the resurgence of Bordetella pertussis.” BMC Medicine, BioMed Central, 2015,
  10. “Failure to Reach the Goal of Measles Elimination: Apparent Paradox of Measles Infections in Immunized Persons.” (Arch Intern Med 154:1815-1820)
  11. “In addition, measles susceptibility of infants younger than 1 year of age may have increased. During the 1989–1991 measles resurgence, incidence rates for infants were more than twice as high as those in any other age group. The mothers of many infants who developed measles were young, and their measles immunity was most often due to vaccination rather than infection with wild virus. As a result, a smaller amount of antibody was transferred across the placenta to the fetus, compared with antibody transfer from mothers who had higher antibody titers resulting from wild-virus infection. The lower quantity of antibody resulted in immunity that waned more rapidly, making infants susceptible at a younger age than in the past.”
  12. The Truth About the Polio Vaccines, Chicago Sunday Tribune, March 5, 1961.
  14. Serres, Gaston De, et al. “Largest Measles Epidemic in North America in a Decade-Quebec, Canada, 2011: Contribution of Susceptibility, Serendipity, and Superspreading Events | The Journal of Infectious Diseases | Oxford Academic.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 21 Dec. 2012,
  15. ICAN notice to HHS