Home » Vaccine Education » Hiding in the Herd

Hiding in the Herd

The term herd immunity has been used for almost 100 years, since about 1923.

Other terms relating to herd immunity, like ‘hiding in the herd’ and ‘free-riding’ have come into use more recently.

Hiding in the Herd

Some people can get away with hiding in the herd.

Actually, they depend on it.

“Herd immunity is present in a community when such a high percentage of its members have been immunized from a particular disease that the disease cannot gain a foothold in the community. Thus, achieving and maintaining herd immunity protects not only those who have been vaccinated, but also those with compromised or weak immune systems, such as the elderly, babies, and those afflicted with HIV.”

Anthony Ciolli on Mandatory School Vaccinations: The Role of Tort Law

That’s because we don’t need 100% of people to be vaccinated and protected for herd immunity to work.

Many children with cancer and other medical conditions benefit from herd immunity.
Many children with cancer and other medical conditions benefit from herd immunity. (CC BY 2.0)

So people who are too young to be vaccinated or fully vaccinated, people who can’t be vaccinated because they were born with an immunodeficiency or get cancer and are on chemotherapy and other true medical exemptions, and even people who are vaccinated but their vaccine didn’t work, can still hope to be protected from vaccine preventable diseases because everyone around them is vaccinated.

These people still get the benefits of herd immunity. Even though they are unvaccinated and susceptible to getting a disease, they probably won’t, because most others in the herd are vaccinated and protected.

But it is not just those people with medical exemptions who try and hide in the herd.

“These numbers have led the National Vaccine Advisory Committee to conclude that religious and philosophical exemptions do not pose a threat to public health.”

T May on Free-riding, fairness and the rights of minority groups in exemption from mandatory childhood vaccination

And that was okay too for a while. It wasn’t that long ago that “free-riding” by those using philosophical or religious exemptions wasn’t a problem, because their numbers were small and herd immunity rates could still be maintained.

Can You Hide in the Herd?

Hiding in the herd can’t work for everyone though.

Surprisingly, Dr. Bob explains that well in his vaccine book that scares parents about toxins in vaccines, while reassuring them that it is okay to space out their child’s vaccines.

“I also warn them not to share their fears with their neighbors, because if too many people avoid the MMR, we’ll likely see the diseases increase significantly.”

Dr. Bob Sears in The Vaccine Book

Basically, if too many people are trying to hide in the herd and have skipped their vaccines, then we have a breakdown in herd immunity and we start to see the return of many vaccine-preventable diseases.

These aren’t people who can’t be vaccinated though.

They are people who refuse to be vaccinated and intentionally don’t vaccinate their kids.

“In other words, hide in the herd, but do not tell the herd you’re hiding; otherwise, outbreaks will ensue. Sears’ advice was prescient. Recent outbreaks of measles in 15 states, caused by an erosion of herd immunity in communities where parents had chosen not to vaccinate their children, were the largest in the United States since 1996.”

Dr. Paul Offit on The Problem With Dr Bob’s Alternative Vaccine Schedule

And that seems to be exactly what happened as more and more parents have walked into their pediatrician’s offices with a copy of Dr. Bob’s Alternative Vaccine Schedule.

While he predicted that it would “increase vaccination rates in our country,” as most others knew,  they went down instead, and we continue to see more and more clusters of unvaccinated children.

Of course, Dr. Bob didn’t create the modern antivaccine-movement, but the bandwagoning effect he and other “thought influencers in the anti-vaccine movement” have on parents isn’t hard to see. Parents get scared by their anti-vaccine talking points and they go on to scare other parents into not vaccinating and protecting their own kids.

Tragically, the consequences of all of this was predictable too.

“If more parents insist on Sears’ vaccine schedules, then fewer children will be protected, with the inevitable consequence of continued or worsening outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.”

Dr. Paul Offit on The Problem With Dr Bob’s Alternative Vaccine Schedule

More outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

What to Know About Hiding in the Herd

When too many people try and hide in the herd, it makes it hard to maintain necessary levels of herd immunity, which puts everyone, including medically fragile children and adults, at higher risk for getting a vaccine-preventable disease.

More About Hiding in the Herd

42 thoughts on “Hiding in the Herd”

  1. Pingback: Vaxopedia – A to Z Index – VAXOPEDIA

  2. Pingback: Six People Who Should Be Vaccinated – VAXOPEDIA

  3. Pingback: What Are the Benefits of Vaccines – VAXOPEDIA

  4. Pingback: The 3 Components of Anti-Vaccine Propaganda – VAXOPEDIA

  5. Pingback: Vaccines are Necessary – VAXOPEDIA

  6. Pingback: The Value and Cost Savings of Getting Vaccinated – VAXOPEDIA

  7. Pingback: The Vaccine-Friendly Plan Book Review – VAXOPEDIA

  8. Pingback: Did Your Rubella Titer Come Back Negative? – VAXOPEDIA

  9. Pingback: How Many People Die in the USA Every Year from Being Vaccinated? – VAXOPEDIA

  10. Pingback: The Moral Responsibility of the Anti-Vaccine Movement – VAXOPEDIA

  11. Pingback: 10 Reasons You Aren’t Vaccinating Your Kids – VAXOPEDIA

  12. Pingback: The Unvaccinated Child – VAXOPEDIA

  13. Pingback: Ask Amy About Intentionally Unvaccinated Kids at a Holiday Party – VAXOPEDIA

  14. Pingback: Pertussis Outbreaks – VAXOPEDIA

  15. Pingback: The First Measles Case of 2018 is at IU Bloomington – VAXOPEDIA

  16. Pingback: National Infant Immunization Week 2018 – VAXOPEDIA

  17. Pingback: When Parents Disagree About Vaccines – VAXOPEDIA

  18. Pingback: When Friends Disagree About Vaccines – VAXOPEDIA

  19. Pingback: How Anti-Vaccine Are You? Take Our Quiz. – VAXOPEDIA

  20. Pingback: A Crazymother Visits Her Pediatrician to Talk About Vaccines – VAXOPEDIA

  21. Pingback: Which Vaccines Don’t Prevent the Spread of a Disease? – VAXOPEDIA

  22. Pingback: How Do Anti-Vaccine Folks Think? – VAXOPEDIA

  23. Pingback: How Can I Get Vaccinated If My Parents Are Anti-Vaccine? – VAXOPEDIA

  24. Pingback: Vaccine Analogies and Metaphors – VAXOPEDIA

  25. Pingback: 10 Myths About Chicken Pox and the Chicken Pox Vaccine – VAXOPEDIA

  26. Pingback: This Is the Modern Anti-Vaccine Movement – VAXOPEDIA

  27. Pingback: Ethics and Vaccines – VAXOPEDIA

  28. Pingback: Do More Vaccinated or Unvaccinated Kids Get Pertussis? – VAXOPEDIA

  29. Pingback: People with Cancer Are at Risk from Unvaccinated Kids – VAXOPEDIA

  30. Pingback: What Is the Morbidity/Mortality Rate of the Polio Vaccine vs the Wild Virus? – VAXOPEDIA

  31. Pingback: Is My Fully Vaccinated Child at Risk from Your Unvaccinated Kids? – VAXOPEDIA

  32. Pingback: Why Are We Worried About 60,000 Unvaccinated Kids? – VAXOPEDIA

  33. Pingback: Dr. Baker Says to Stop Worrying About Measles! – VAXOPEDIA

  34. Pingback: Why Are Anti-Vaccine Folks Panicking over the Measles Outbreaks? – VAXOPEDIA

  35. Pingback: Hiding in the Herd – VAXOPEDIA – International Badass Activists

  36. Pingback: Thorner/Ingold: Claim that Measles Vaccine Causes Autism Invites Serious Consequences and even Death - Western Free Press

  37. Pingback: What is the Natural Immunity Model? – VAXOPEDIA

  38. Pingback: Bob Sears on Hiding in the Herd – VAXOPEDIA

  39. Pingback: What Did Benjamin Franklin Say About Vaccines? – VAXOPEDIA

  40. Pingback: Anti-Vaccine Glossary – The Real Vaccine Truth

  41. Pingback: The Value and Cost Savings of Getting Vaccinated - VAXOPEDIA

  42. Pingback: Who Benefits from Stronger Vaccine Laws? - VAXOPEDIA

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: