What is collective immunity, and why it is worthwhile to vaccinate a child, even if for many years not a single case of vaccination has been recorded.
Collective immunity (population immunity) is a form of indirect protection of society against infections. This protection is achieved due to the fact that everyone who has no contraindications is vaccinated against infections, thereby preventing an epidemic and transmission of infection to those who for some reason have not been vaccinated.
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The more people in a society are vaccinated, the better the collective immunity works. If 90-95% of the population is vaccinated, the disease will not spread in the country if the infection gets from outside.
How does collective immunity work?
If in a society where there are no vaccinated people, a carrier of infection appears, then almost everyone gets sick.
If the carrier enters a society where there is a small percentage of people vaccinated with a stable immunity to the disease, then a greater percentage of those who have not been vaccinated will become ill.And people who have been vaccinated will stay healthy.
The third option - a carrier enters a society where a larger percentage of the population is vaccinated. In this case, only a small percentage of unvaccinated people will fall ill. Please note, not all unvaccinated, but only part of them.
Why collective immunity is so important
Diseases from which conduct mass vaccinations, it is not a runny nose or prickly heat, which will pass by itself in three days. These are infections that can, if not kill a person, despite all the possibilities of modern treatment, then lead to disability.
Collective immunity protects against such diseases in people who cannot be vaccinated due to permanent or temporary contraindications, as well as young children who have not been vaccinated because they have not yet reached the age at which they are vaccinated against certain diseases.
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If the collective immunity is weakened (due to mass refusal of vaccination, violation of the rules for its conduct or low-quality vaccine), long-forgotten diseases brought from other countries may appear in the country.
For example, in Ukraine, due to mass vaccination, not a single case of poliomyelitis has been registered since 1996. Since 2002, she received the title of a polio-free zone. But at the same time, the situation in which the poliomyelitis virus can enter Ukraine from other countries is quite real.
This happened in 2009, when the poliomyelitis virus was imported from India to Tajikistan, after which several hundred cases of the disease were recorded in Tajikistan. From Tajikistan, the virus has entered the territory of Russia.
Even if there is no virus in the country now, this does not mean that it will not appear tomorrow. And you need to be ready for this.
If the child has no contraindications, it must be inoculated according to the vaccination schedule. And if for some reason we had to skip the vaccination, we need to develop an individual schedule with a pediatrician.