A Midwestern Doctor
As I was putting together this article, I realized that one of the major issues we face when evaluating this topic is determining exactly what constitutes “herd immunity” (a surprisingly amorphous term) and how to evaluate if a vaccine improves or worsens each rendition of it.
… In many cases, vaccines do not work at all (e.g. for influenza). In cases where vaccines do work, they will o en create an evolutionary pressure that creates the emergence of strains that are resistant to the vaccine (this is analogous to bacteria eventually developing resistance to antibiotics that are used on them). As a result, when successful, vaccination campaigns o en create a brief decline of the disease that is then followed by the disease rebounding to its original levels, and o en changing to become more dangerous or a ect demographics the disease did not infect before (who are typically older than the original susceptible demographic).
This cycle of futile attempts at disease eradication has been repeatedly demonstrated, with the strongest evidence of strain replacement existing for Haemophilus in uenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Bordetella pertussis (each of which many of our children are mandated to be vaccinated for).