What is ‘herd immunity’?

If enough children in a community are immunised against an infection, that infection will no longer be passed from one child to another. The few non-immunised children are then partially protected as they are unlikely to be exposed to that infection As a result, the whole community (herd) is protected against that infection (herd immunity). It is, therefore, of benefit to the whole community when a child is immunised. Due to the high immunisation rate, some infections such as smallpox have disappeared. The goal in South Africa is to have 90% of all children fully immunised.

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