Community (or herd) immunity helps slow down or stop the spread of disease among people. It only works when the majority of a population has immunity to the disease. For some diseases, such as measles, at least 9 out of 10 of us must have immunity to keep the virus from spreading. When you choose to immunize yourself and your family, you also protect others at risk, such as those who:
- Have weak immune systems, such as those with heart disease or cancer.
- Are not fully immunized.
- Can't get shots because they're too young, too old, or have a certain medical conditions that prevent them from getting vaccinated.
If your child is not fully immunized, or if you have questions about vaccines, talk to your doctor, nurse or clinic. For more information, visit www.doh.wa.gov or call your local health department.