THE GREATER GOOD PART II: Vaccines alone can not provide herd immunity for many pathogens 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. Furthermore, for some pathogens, vaccines alone can not provide herd immunity due to vaccine failure. Hence the unvaccinated pose no greater risk to the public than the vaccinated.

  • 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: (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/vaccines-work/effectiveness-studies.htm) 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: (https://www.cdc.gov/mumps/hcp.html) 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: (https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/about/faqs.html) The CDC states “in general, DTaP vaccines are 80% to 90% effective… within the first 2 years after getting the vaccine.” 

Additional each vaccine has groups of individuals that cannot receive the vaccine because of potential harm. This includes immunocompromised individuals, those allergic to particular components, pregnant women, and children under the age of 1 depending on the vaccine.

Read Part III here.