by Meryl Dorey
And actually, herd immunity itself never had any relation to
vaccination. I remember hearing Viera Scheibner speak about this and I
think it's in her book which is now out of print, as well.
There was a researcher in the 1930's named Hedrich (not sure if I've
spelled that right or not - doing this from memory) who was studying
cattle - an actual HERD! LOL Anyway, there was a disease that lots of
cattle get and what he found was that when enough of the calves had
contracted this disease and recovered from it, there would be a long
inter-epidemic period when there might be a sporadic case or two, but
there would not be any epidemics until there were enough susceptible
young cattle around to sustain a larger outbreak. This was then called
herd immunity. He found that when approximately 60-65% of the cattle
were immune due to infection, there would be a period of 3 to 4 years
without an outbreak. Then, the outbreak would occur - not because of any
lifetime immunity amongst the population - but simply because young
cattle had been born and did not have this native immunity from
Herd immunity NEVER had anything to do with vaccinations. It was simply
a concept which was opportunistically grabbed by people who had a
vaccine barrow to push and spread by the media which neither thinks nor
questions any statements made by doctors or pharmaceutical company
Today in both the US and Australia (the only countries whose statistics
I am familiar enough with to make this comment) though vaccination
against whooping cough is in excess of the rates postulated to represent
herd immunity - when we have been told that there will be no disease at
all - we have more cases of whooping cough per capita then at any time
since prior to mass vaccination campaigns began.
Now, if whooping cough vaccination provided even MINIMAL protection from
the disease, we would expect to have seen a decline in incidence.
Instead, we have seen incidence shoot up.
This is because vaccines only produce antibodies - and as has been said
many times - antibodies do not equal immunity.
Herd immunity has nothing to do with vaccination and will never mean the
end of disease - it is only a term meant to indicate that there are
either more or less susceptible individuals in the 'herd' being studied.
And as an interesting side note - one effect that vaccinations have had
on the herd immunity has been to shorten the inter-epidemic period
between outbreaks. These used to occur with most childhood diseases in
3-5 year cycles. That cycle has now been shortened for most of these
illnesses to 2-3 years apart. Great job vaccine! NOT!