Protecting the Community Through Child Vaccination

Anderson, E. J.; Daugherty, M. A.; Pickering, L. K.; Orenstein, W. A.; Yogev, R.

Clin Infect Dis. 2018 Feb 23; 67(3):464-471

Abstract

The direct impact of vaccines on children is well described, but the major public health impact of indirect protection provided to the community by vaccines is underappreciated. Community protection occurs when vaccinated persons 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.

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