THE GREATER GOOD PART II: Vaccines have yet to provide herd immunity due to primary (low responders) and secondary (early waners) vaccine failure.

The greater good and the protection of the immunocompromised is often cited as the primary rationale for mandatory vaccination. It is currently being used as motivation to remove NJ’s Religious Exemption. This idea is untenable. We’ve addresses that a number of vaccines do not even claim to provide herd immunity in Part I of the Greater Good. Furthermore, other vaccines do not provide herd immunity for reasons listed below and as a result the unvaccinated pose no greater risk to the public than the vaccinated.

  • Risks Groups for each vaccine cannot receive the vaccine because of potential harm. This includes immunocompromised individuals, those allergic to particular components, pregnant women, and children under 1 depending on the vaccine.
  • Even if this was ignored, and we had 100% vaccination rates, primary and secondary vaccine failure would prevent herd immunity.
  • Primary Vaccine Failure, also known as “low responders,” refers to a portion of the population that never receives any protection even after multiple boosters. The percent of “no response” from this group depends on the vaccine and the individual.
  • Flu: ( CDC records show that over the last 15 years, starting in the 2004-2005 flu season, the flu vaccine effectiveness estimates average 39.9% effective.
  • Mumps: ( The CDC states “two doses of mumps vaccine are 88% (range 31% to 95%) effective at preventing the disease; one dose is 78% (range 49% to 91%) effective.”
  • Furthermore, the CDC states “People who previously had one or two doses of MMR vaccine can still get mumps and transmit the disease. During mumps outbreaks in highly vaccinated communities, the proportion of cases that occur among people who have been vaccinated may be high. “
  • Pertussis: ( The CDC states “in general, DTaP vaccines are 80% to 90% effective… within the first 2 years after getting the vaccine.” 

Read Part III here.

Take Action:

1. Sign up for NJ Vaccine Science action alerts via email.


2. Stay Informed – check our our Blog and Advocacy Home page for action items, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.


3. Call and Email your Senator and Assemblymembers – ask them to oppose bill S902/A969. Use this link to find your representatives’ phone number and send them a message.


4. Call and Email the Bill Sponsors: Senate President Sweeney: / 856-251-9801; Assemblyman Conway / (856) 461-3997


If you live in Legislative District 11 sign our D11 Petition to protect NJ’s RE. 

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