Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: November 27, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412953948 | Print ISBN: 9781412928168 | Online ISBN: 9781412953948| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Brian K. Lee
Herd immunity describes a state in which an infectious disease transmissible through human contact is unlikely to spread because a large proportion of the population is immune to the disease. This immunity can be conferred through natural immunity, previous exposure to the disease, or vaccination. The entire population does not need to be immune to attain herd immunity. Rather, the population density of persons susceptible to infection must be low enough to minimize the likelihood of an infected individual ...