Challenging What You’ve Heard about the Herd

“Herd Immunity” is a concept purported by those vested in the vaccine program to try and increase vaccine uptake nationwide. It’s also used by the pharmaceutical lobby in support of their push for legislators to remove informed consent and mandate vaccines across the states. But what exactly is herd immunity, and why does it remain one of the industry’s most widely used talking points?

In very simplistic terms, as it’s presented today, herd immunity is the theory that high vaccination rates at a specified threshold within a community can prevent disease outbreaks. This is the theory that continues to be stated as fact by industry reps, CDC officials, pharma lobbyists and the media (who repeatedly echo the talking points their sponsors have fed them) when promoting vaccines. However, when closely examined, the assumptions required for this theory to stand up prove to be illogical and lack evidential support. Let’s take a look at several of the roadblocks that ought to make the concept of herd immunity questionable at best.

Roadblock #1: Vaccination vs. Naturally Acquired Immunity

Dr. Kelly Brogan discusses one of the earliest assertions of the herd immunity theory, stating that, “it has no basis in vaccine-induced antibody production and heralds from an observation by A.W. Hedrich, in 1933, that measles outbreaks in Boston between 1900 and 1930 were suppressed when 68% of the children contracted the virus.”  So the original theory had nothing to do with vaccination. It was based on an observation of suppressed outbreaks based on 68% of the population having acquired lifelong, natural immunity by catching – and recovering from – the actual virus. Applying Hedrich’s original theory today would actually support allowing exposure to childhood illnesses so that a percentage of the population could build their natural defenses and establish the presence of natural immunity within the community.

Hedrich’s theory, which, again, had nothing to do with vaccination, was used to promote mass vaccination campaigns against measles in the late 60s (campaigns that failed to achieve the herd immunity they anticipated). In order to make the theory fit their agenda, without any supporting evidence, public health officials just presumed vaccinated individuals to have precisely the same immunoprotective status as individuals with naturally acquired immunity. This bold assumption is problematic as we know from basic biology that vaccine-induced antibody responses are acquired very differently from natural immunity. Vaccines completely bypass the immune system’s primary lines of defense (in the skin, mucosal linings in the respiratory system and digestive system), and instead force an irregular immune response by activating the production of antibodies against the antigens that have been injected. Given vaccination does not allow the body’s immune system to function as it was designed to – by running through its entire immune response – it is illogical to assume the same end results.

Roadblock #2: Documented Vaccine Failure

Outbreaks of measles, chicken pox, mumps, and pertussis have occurred in highly vaccinated school populations, and those getting sick have primarily been the vaccinated. (See sources here, here, and here.) In a recent article discussing MMR vaccine failure rates, Dr. Gregory Poland, Editor-in-Chief of the medical journal Vaccine, stated that we have this “paradoxical situation whereby measles in highly immunized societies occurs primarily among those previously immunized.  The CDC and many peer-reviewed journal articles warn of waning vaccine-induced immunity (several sources can be found here, here, here and here), hence the recommendation of multiple doses and additional boosters of most vaccines sold today.

Even if you ignore the fact that vaccination does not generally equate to natural immunity and choose to believe that a predetermined vaccination rate (usually reported to be 75 – 95%, depending on the disease) protects an entire community from that disease, the recurring disease outbreaks among vaccinated children in communities where these thresholds were met or exceeded completely disprove the theory of vaccine-induced herd immunity. Also, if the vaccines aren’t able to protect the people who actually received them, under what plausible scientific theory are the vaccines protecting others in that community? And, why is the answer to repeated, documented vaccine failure always more vaccines? It just makes no logical sense when you stop and critically think about what you’re being told.

Roadblock #3: Adult Vaccination Rates

As of 2017, the government estimates that children make up 22.6% of the U.S. population, meaning a whopping 77.4% of the U.S. population is adults. The CDC acknowledges that national vaccination rates in adults are extremely low and that, for most adult-recommended vaccines, coverage is somewhere in the 20 – 30% range. Given these low adult vaccination rates and the fact that the effectiveness of vaccines received in childhood wane over time, what we’re left with is the vast majority of Americans being what the CDC would consider unvaccinated or, at best, under-vaccinated.

As this graphic from vaccine-safety advocate J.B. Handley depicts, according to the CDC we as a country fall far below the CDC’s proclaimed coverage thresholds needed for herd immunity – and we have for ages. Yet, we don’t see plagues of diseases befalling our communities and wiping out our citizens, as we are warned will happen if herd immunity numbers are not maintained.

Roadblock #4: Current Childhood Vaccination Rates

In stark contrast to adult immunization rates, childhood vaccination rates across the country are quite high. In the state of Texas, less than 1% of children go to school with any sort of vaccine exemption. Even in the school district with the highest vaccine exemption rate, more than 95% of the children are fully vaccinated. With such high compliance rates, why all of the news reports warning of outbreaks on the horizon? Why the need to propose legislation that threatens Texans’ rights to informed consent, medical privacy and individual vaccine choice? Again, even if you believe that we obtain herd immunity at thresholds of 70 – 95% vaccine coverage, then why all the hoopla over the less-than-one-percent that opts to forego even one of the many childhood vaccines on the schedule? It just doesn’t add up.

In spite of all of these roadblocks to its reasonableness, the application of Hedrich’s theory to vaccination persists. As with many other claims made to support mass vaccination, with no supporting evidence, somewhere along the way it stopped being cited as a possible theory and began to be promoted as generally accepted fact.

So who’s promoting herd immunity…and why?

The ‘who’ is simple. The ones using the idea of herd immunity to promote vaccines are those with vested interests and financial ties to the vaccine industry. These include the industry itself, the CDC (who actually acts as a subsidiary of the vaccine industry, holding dozens of vaccine patents of their own), medical professionals, including pediatricians, who receive industry funding for promoting vaccinations, and, of course, the media, whose biggest advertiser by far is the pharmaceutical industry.

The ‘why’ is a little more calculated. You see, those tied to the vaccine industry have to rely on a tactical public relations campaign in an effort to keep as many folks as possible on board with blindly trusting them and their recommendations. I recently wrote about one aspect of this sadly effective PR campaign, mentioning that the campaign has to be aggressive enough to offset the number of parents telling how their previously-healthy babies were permanently injured, disabled or even killed by their vaccines. When a theory like herd immunity is touted as fact, it becomes instrumental in pitting parent against parent. This scientifically unfounded message that one parent’s choice puts another’s children at risk creates great conflict resulting in added social pressure in an effort to coerce compliance from more people. Additionally, this message further vilifies those who don’t dutifully fall in line and blindly accept whatever the CDC recommends. Finally, the threat of losing herd immunity is a scare tactic that has been instrumental in selling legislators on laws that remove individual freedoms through vaccine mandates and other laws aimed at restricting informed consent and medical privacy where vaccines are concerned.

Bottom line: the idea of herd immunity is strategically being used to force an untested, bloated vaccine schedule on parents by publicly shaming anyone who doesn’t fall in line and to push for vaccine mandates using a one-size-fits-all approach. The goal is to apply enough peer pressure to make people believe that choosing what they inject into themselves or their children is no longer a personal choice, and that exercising their rights to informed consent makes them selfish and dangerous. But when you really dig in, and look at the actual facts and figures behind the theory you’re being sold, you soon realize that it makes no actual sense – and it never really did. As well-known author and neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock puts it:

“If we listen to present-day wisdom, we are all at risk of resurgent massive epidemics should the vaccination rate fall below 95%. Yet, we have all lived for at least 30 to 40 years with 50% or less of the population having vaccine protection. That is, herd immunity has not existed in this country for many decades and no resurgent epidemics have occurred. Vaccine-induced herd immunity is a lie used to frighten doctors, public-health officials, other medical personnel, and the public into accepting vaccinations.”


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