Vaccine herd effect Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Vaccination ideally protects susceptible populations at high risk for complications of the infection. However, vaccines for these subgroups do not always provide sufficient effectiveness. The herd effect or herd immunity is an attractive way to extend vaccine benefits beyond the directly targeted population. It refers to the indirect protection of unvaccinated persons, whereby an increase in the prevalence of immunity by the vaccine prevents circulation of infectious agents in susceptible populations. The herd effect has had a major impact in the eradication of smallpox, has reduced transmission of pertussis, and protects against influenza and pneumococcal disease. A high uptake of vaccines is generally needed for success. In this paper we aim to provide an update review on the herd effect, focusing on the clinical benefit, by reviewing data for specific vaccines.

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publication date

  • September 2011