"Herd immunity": a rough guide.


Fine, P; Eames, K; Heymann, DL; (2011) "Herd immunity": a rough guide. Clinical infectious diseases , 52 (7). pp. 911-6. ISSN 1058-4838 DOI: 10.1093/cid/cir007

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Abstract

The term "herd immunity" is widely used but carries a variety of meanings [1-7]. Some authors use it to describe the proportion immune among individuals in a population. Others use it with reference to a particular threshold proportion of immune individuals that should lead to a decline in incidence of infection. Still others use it to refer to a pattern of immunity that should protect a population from invasion of a new infection. A common implication of the term is that the risk of infection among susceptible individuals in a population is reduced by the presence and proximity of immune individuals (this is sometimes referred to as "indirect protection" or a "herd effect"). We provide brief historical, epidemiologic, theoretical, and pragmatic public health perspectives on this concept.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Research Centre: Vaccine Centre
PubMed ID: 21427399
Web of Science ID: 288802600016
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/1077

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