What Is Herd Immunity?enparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/KH_generic_header_05_2.jpgHerd immunity is when many people are immune to a contagious infection, so it's harder for that infection to spread in a community. But does it have a role in the fight against COVID-19?community immunity, herd immunity, immune, immunity, vaccinations, vaccines, immunizations, COVID-19, coronavirus, herd immunity and covid, will herd immunity stop coronavirus, germs, infectious, contagious10/28/202012/09/202012/09/2020Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD12/07/20204b10166b-da8f-4b41-a88e-c9940a75bf0bhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/herd-immunity.html/<p><em>I've heard that "herd immunity" is part of why getting kids vaccinated is important. But lately I see news about how herd immunity could be a risky way to try to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. So is herd immunity a good thing or not?<br />&ndash; Corrine</em></p> <p>Herd immunity is the idea that when many people are immune to a contagious infection, usually by getting a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/vaccine.html/">vaccine</a>, it's harder for that infection to spread in a community. Vaccines teach the body to recognize and fight <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/germs.html/">germs</a> so we can't get sick from them in the future. This helps us become immune to infections. Otherwise, people become immune only after recovering from an infection that they caught from someone else. To achieve herd immunity this way, many people would get sick or even die in the process.</p> <h3>Why Is Herd Immunity Important?</h3> <p>Herd immunity (also called <strong>community immunity</strong>) protects people who are not immune to a disease, such as those who:</p> <ul> <li>never had the disease</li> <li>aren't able to get the vaccine</li> <li>cannot become immune because they have a weak <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/immune.html/">immune system</a></li> </ul> <p>When about 7 or 8 out of 10 people are immune to an infection in a community, their whole community is usually protected &mdash; not just those who are immune. Diseases that are very contagious, like measles, might need almost everyone to be immune.</p> <h3>Why Are People Talking About Herd Immunity and COVID-19?</h3> <p>It has been suggested that people with a lower risk of severe <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/coronavirus.html/">COVID-19</a> infection be allowed to become immune by catching it.</p> <p>But because COVID-19 is a new disease, most health experts don't yet know if herd immunity to coronavirus is possible, for a few reasons:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>We don't know if or for how long people who have recovered from COVID-19 are protected from getting infected again.</li> <li>Coronavirus is very contagious, so it's likely that millions of people would have to get infected to create herd immunity. Many of them could die while waiting for it to happen. Those who don't die could get very sick and have serious post-infection problems. We're still learning about the long-term effects of the illness, but it seems that young people can have these problems as well as older ones.</li> <li>The coronavirus vaccines are still very new. We don't yet know how long widespread vaccination will take.</li> </ul> <p>So yes, herd immunity is a good thing, but it must happen safely. Until enough people get a coronavirus vaccine, health experts worldwide say that the best way to prevent its spread is to:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/coronavirus-mask-video.html/">Wear a mask</a> when out in public.</li> <li>Keep a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/coronavirus-social-distancing.html/">safe distance</a> from people you don't live with.</li> <li>Avoid large gatherings, especially ones held indoors.</li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hand-washing.html/">Wash your hands</a> well and often.</li> <li>If sick, stay home and contact your doctor.</li> </ul>¿Qué es la inmunidad de rebaño?La idea de la inmunidad de rebaño consiste en que, cuando mucha gente es inmune a una enfermedad contagiosa, generalmente a través de vacunarse contra esa enfermedad, es más difícil que esa infección se contagie en el seno de una comunidad. Pero, ¿tiene algún papel en la lucha contra el COVID-19?https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/herd-immunity-esp.html/1d29f530-45c7-4b7d-8719-b655ea372d46
A Kid's Guide to ShotsIf you're old enough to read this, you've probably had most of your shots. But even bigger kids may need a shot once in a while. Find out more about them in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/guide-shots.html/27ec6b41-6c34-46f5-bacc-603b7019ad9f
Common Questions About ImmunizationsImmunizations have protected millions of children from potentially deadly diseases. Learn about immunizations and find out exactly what they do - and what they don't.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fact-myth-immunizations.html/f6cd5f64-54b9-49ed-a7aa-bdb2a2c06fbc
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: What to Do if Your Child Is SickThere's still much to learn about COVID-19. Still, parents wonder what to do if their child gets sick during the pandemic. Here's what doctors say to do if your child has coronavirus symptoms.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/coronavirus-child-is-sick.html/9f829172-fa90-4c78-b539-04b38b4becfe
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Home Care & PrecautionsAnyone who is sick — even if they don't know for sure they have coronavirus (COVID-19) — should stay home unless they need medical care. This helps prevent the illness from spreading to others.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/coronavirus-stop-spread.html/a4ccc01a-06f4-4f84-a72b-fec59388ea54
Coronavirus (COVID-19): How You Can Make a DifferenceAll over the world, people are staying home due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Social distancing is something we all can do to make a big difference. It's not easy, but these tips can help.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/coronavirus-calm.html/bd70321a-8dce-4744-a5cd-d68993672738
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Kids & Medical Care During the PandemicDuring the COVID-19 pandemic, kids should still see their doctors for well-child visits and other care. Here's what parents should know.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/coronavirus-checkups.html/35b2a954-7ba7-4d58-adaf-e863975517e2
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Kids and MasksWearing masks helps to slow the spread of COVID-19. Some toddlers and young children may feel uneasy about masks. Here's how to reassure your child.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/coronavirus-masks.html/69838240-3140-46b2-8c13-443cad52391d
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Your Questions AnsweredWe're learning more about coronavirus (COVID-19) every day. Here are answers to some questions you may have about symptoms, care, and protecting your family.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/coronavirus-questions-answers.html/137bc3fc-1492-45bb-b8d6-a37fc4f3b77f
Coronavirus: What Kids Can DoHere are the 4 best ways everyone (including kids) can help stop coronavirus.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/coronavirus-kids.html/c7e537cf-9372-4609-9cd1-f54e8eaca7bc
Germs: Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi, and ProtozoaGerms are tiny organisms that can cause disease - and they're so small that they can creep into your system without you noticing. Find out how to protect yourself.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/care-about-germs.html/59b8feef-766a-4272-ac83-38140b1d176a
Hand Washing: Why It's So ImportantDid you know that the most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands? If you don't wash your hands frequently, you can pick up germs from other sources and then infect yourself.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/handwashing.html/83630582-a0c6-4b77-97f9-6b26970fd4af
How Do I Know Which Vaccines My Kids Need?Find out what the experts have to say.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/which-shots.html/a1c73420-3e9d-43d6-ac89-da66e0b81edc
How Vaccines Help (Video)Vaccines help keep kids healthy, but many parents still have questions about them. Get answers here. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/vaccine-video.html/381d8b32-8c56-41c1-b6b5-247544dcac7e
Immune SystemThe immune system is made up of special cells, proteins, tissues, and organs that defend people against germs and microorganisms.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/immune.html/45385c22-09f4-4e2e-98d9-8be5155bedc5
ImmunizationsMissing out on shots puts you at more serious risk than you might think. That one little "ouch" moment protects you from some major health problems.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/immunizations.html/43c9c971-c202-4a84-af31-70a2a42c3a36
What's the Difference Between Infectious and Contagious?Find out what the experts have to say.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/contagious.html/791c13a5-95e6-48cc-b05a-8b775ac3244b
When Is an Illness Contagious?Find out what the experts have to say.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/contagious-illnesses.html/58e3abcb-34b0-4be4-a9da-a8a0756e7a23
Why Are People Wearing Face Masks?You might think face masks are mostly for the operating room. But during the coronavirus outbreak, you might see more people wearing them. Here's why.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/face-masks.html/bf8a0fd4-c5c1-46dc-a88e-2f055ad8157a
Why Do I Need to Wash My Hands?Washing your hands is the best way to stop germs from spreading. Learn all about the best way to wash your hands in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/wash-hands.html/ae19eff8-ac7c-44be-bd9f-b2efe6953f6d
Word! ContagiousThere's a good reason your parent tells you to cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough!https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/word-contagious.html/e3b76c1f-5a2b-4caa-a061-e45d33a5607c
Your Immune SystemThe immune system keeps you healthy. How does it work? Find out in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/immune.html/6b9fad76-c866-450e-81d9-1e625343744f
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-immunologykh:clinicalDesignation-infectiousDiseasekh:genre-qAndAkh:primaryClinicalDesignation-infectiousDiseaseGeneral Health Q&Ahttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/question/general/fce72c6a-7751-439e-82d7-213b767b8915Bacterial & Viral Infectionshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/infections/bacterial-viral/401507d2-7822-44aa-8109-e54dc4c18e61