Ensuring Children Receive All Recommended Vaccines Critical To Protection Of Public, Global Health

The Hill: CDC: Herd immunity helps to protect the entire community
Rebecca Martin, director of the CDC’s Center for Global Health

“[A]s World Immunization Week (WIW) ends, we must confront how fragile the gains in preventing and eliminating diseases can be. … Failing to vaccinate against polio, measles, yellow fever, diphtheria, and other diseases, with tools we already have, threatens global progress in our efforts to prevent these illnesses and leads to death, suffering, and increased economic hardship. … The 2019 WIW theme ‘Protected Together,’ is a powerful call to action for parents, health care workers, and those of us in public health. We all have a role to play in ensuring all children receive all of the recommended childhood vaccines. Protected together refers to the idea that by vaccinating a large percentage of the population, protection from disease is conferred, not only to those who receive vaccine, but also to those who cannot be vaccinated because they are too young, or for other reasons. If vaccination rates are high enough, ‘herd immunity’ helps to protect the entire community. … [W]e must bolster our collective, focused, data driven efforts to remove barriers and improve access to and acceptance of vaccines worldwide. The best way we can continue to honor those we have lost, from children who died from preventable diseases to frontline workers who bravely committed to reach them, is to continue the work to identify and close the gaps that diseases exploit…” (5/2).