What Childhood Vaccine Rates Can, and Can’t, Teach Us About Covid Vaccines

March 10, 2021

(Kaiser Health News) – Polls show Americans are increasingly interested in getting vaccinated against covid-19, but such surveys are largely national, leaving a big question: When the vaccines become available to the general public, will enough people get it in your county, city or neighborhood to keep your community safe? Data on childhood vaccines, such as the one that protects against measles, mumps and rubella, provide hints. They show that the collective protection known as herd immunity can break down in pockets where not enough people choose to be immunized. Experts say at least 92% of the population must be vaccinated against measles to prevent it from spreading.