What is Community Immunity?
Community (or herd) immunity helps slow down and stop the spread of disease among people. Community immunity only works when most people in the community have immunity to the disease. People become immune by getting vaccinated or by having had the disease. For some diseases, like pertussis (whooping cough) and measles, at least 9 out of 10 of us must have immunity to keep the diseases from spreading. Community immunity protects us all. Learn more about how community immunity works.
Who Depends on Community Immunity?
We all do, but especially those who can’t fight diseases or are not immune. When you choose to immunize yourself and your family, you also help protect others at risk, like:
- Infants and the elderly who cannot get vaccines because they are too young or too old.
- People with weak immune systems, like those with heart disease or cancer.
- People who are not fully immunized.
Does My Community Have Immunity?
Ask your child care, preschool, or school about their immunization rates. You can find kindergarten immunization rates for Washington State elementary schools at SchoolDigger.
Immunize your child on time. Make sure you and your child’s caregivers get immunized too.
Speak up by telling others that your child is fully immunized. Make sure your friends and neighbors know about the risks of not immunizing and the benefits of community immunity.