Site last updated 16/03/2017
Copyright® Sanofi Pasteur 2014
Macquarie Park NSW 2113
This website is for Australian residents only.

     < Return to content library

Community Immunity - why we’re all in this together

A chain of protectionHigh levels of vaccination in a population help protect people who cannot be immunised due to age or medical conditions, so you can help to protect others just as much as yourself. If you are holding off receiving a flu shot because you don’t like needles, consider the people you might save from falling ill this flu season. The same goes for other potentially deadly diseases like measles, mumps and rotavirus.Some vaccine-preventable diseases are incredibly contagious, as well as dangerous. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90 per cent of the people close to that person not immunised may also become infected.1 Household members were responsible for about 80 per cent of whooping cough infections in infants, for whom the disease can be fatal2 . If vaccination rates aren’t kept high, it means these diseases can still circulate.Diseases such as smallpox were successfully eradicated with widespread vaccination3. We no longer hear about them because they aren’t present in the community, which can leave us open to complacency about other communicable diseases.For more information about community or ‘herd’ immunity speak to your healthcare professional.References:1. CDC website, http://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/transmission.html2. CDC website, http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/about/faqs.html3. WHO website, http://www.who.int/csr/disease/smallpox/en/