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Healthy Living: How Vaccines Contribute to ‘Herd Immunity’

According to the World Health Organization, 'Herd immunity' is the indirect protection from an infectious disease.

According to the World Health Organization, 'Herd immunity' is the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection.

Measles, mumps, polio, and chickenpox are examples of infectious diseases that were once very common but are now rare in the U.S. because vaccines helped to establish herd immunity.

There are two ways to get herd immunity,” said Dr. Adebayo Fasanya, a pulmonologist with Baptist Health-Fort Simth. “One is to wait until everyone gets infected, which is not reasonable since there will be a high mortality rate so the best step is vaccination. So the more people who get the (COVID-19) vaccine, the more likely we will reach herd immunity.”

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