The direct impact of vaccines upon children is well described, but the major public health impact of indirect protection provided to the community by vaccines is under-appreciated. Community protection occurs when vaccinated people block the chain of transmission, protecting undervaccinated or unvaccinated susceptible community members by preventing exposure and limiting the spread of the pathogen through the community. Substantial declines in disease incidence have occurred shortly after implementing new childhood vaccines, including declines among vaccine-ineligible children, adolescents, and adults. Protection of susceptible community members depends on maintaining high vaccination rates. Improved recognition of community protection will strengthen childhood vaccination strategies that will protect our communities into the future.