Don’t come crying

Photo by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee

Photo by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee

Herd immunity is a wonderful thing. As long as we have about 70% of a population immune to a disease, the chances of a devastating epidemic are low. When the percentage of the population that is immune dwindle, the risk of an outbreak increases. And we’ve seen this in action in the natural world before the inception of vaccines – a population would be exposed to a disease like influenza or yellow fever, survivors would gain immunity, the epidemic would fade out, and the risk of a repeat epidemic would be minimal until an adequate supply of susceptible individuals emerged again.

There has been a real push back against vaccination in the last 10 years, in humans as well as pets. I’m all for minimizing vaccinations. I don’t think I’ve advocated annual vaccines for routine illnesses since graduating vet school almost 2 decades ago, and I hate that some local vets are advising clients to vaccinate their pet (mainly dogs) for diseases that we really don’t see here. So I’m not a shill for the vaccine companies, and I don’t live in the pocket of big pharma. Continue reading