If you listen to proponents of the pharmaceutical industry, they will tell you everyone needs to be vaccinated to ensure herd immunity. If most of the herd are vaccinated against a disease, then the herd is protected from that disease. Remember the “epidemic” of measles at Disneyland a while ago? Experts on television insisted that the threshold for measles vaccine herd immunity was 95% of the herd. If you didn’t have 95% of people vaccinated for measles, you could expect a major epidemic of measles. It was this fear mongering that led California State Senator Richard Pan, the author of SB 277, which made California the third state (besides Mississippi and West Virginia) to make vaccinations mandatory for children to go to school. Senator Pan stated, “This success is a first step toward reducing the number of unimmunized people putting our families at risk for preventable diseases, thereby restoring community immunity throughout our state in the coming years.”

There are some significant problems with his declaration. First, if someone is vaccinated for a disease, aren’t they protected from getting that disease? Why would they be worried about being around others that are not vaccinated? Will they catch the disease anyway? Aren’t they immune from the disease? Maybe vaccinations are not all they claim to be–maybe they aren’t very effective? Shouldn’t the people not vaccinated be the ones at risk?

Second, the United States has never been close to achieving herd immunity for any disease that has a vaccine for it. J. B. Handley, in his book, How to End the Autism Epidemic, explains why, “The overwhelming majority of adults in the United States are not up to date on their vaccines and the efficacy of vaccines to prevent disease wanes over time, meaning protection from a vaccine “wears off,” typically in ten years or less. (It’s called “protection waning.”) To put this into perspective, there are roughly 150 million adults in the United States walking around with no vaccine-provided protection from many diseases that we are supposed to have met herd immunity thresholds for. The CDC surveys adults every year, so it’s easy enough to find vaccination coverage rates.”

With so many people unvaccinated, where are the crippling epidemics?

Gretchen DuBeau, executive director of the Alliance for Natural Health stated, “While herd immunity may not exist, herd mentality most definitely does. Health authorities, media commentators, and schools and their parent-teacher associations waste no opportunity in perpetuating this myth. Proponents have done such a thorough job of convincing the public that a parent who questions it is treated like someone who thinks the earth is flat or believes climate change is a conspiracy. On the contrary: an unprejudiced view of the science about vaccines and an examination of history, clearly show that the herd immunity theory is–and always has been–flawed.”

Vaccination rates from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s were far lower than today. DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis/whooping cough) was 72% (1973) and 63% (1985); polio was 59% (1973) and 53% (1985); MMR (mumps, measles, rubella) was 61% (1973) and 61% (1985). Where were all the childhood epidemics in 1973 and 1985 when vaccination rates were so low? They never manifested because they didn’t exist! The notion of herd immunity is marketing hype with no scientific basis. See my book, There’s An Elephant in the Room–Exposing Hidden Truths in the Science of Health for more information on vaccine myths.

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