Journal of Undergraduate Research


immunization module, herd immunity, Utah, immunization exemptions




Herd immunity requires that 95% of a population is immunized in order to be effective. In Utah, only 75.2% of children have received all of the recommended vaccinations by age two1. Herd immunity is of great importance to a population because it protects those who cannot be immunized (such as newborns and those with chronic illnesses). These individuals are offered some protection because when the majority of a population is immunized, the disease has little opportunity to spread within the community2. In Utah, the number of individuals that choose not to immunize themselves or their children is constantly increasing. Those who choose not to be immunized cause the herd immunity in our population to decline and eventually it will become nonexistent, putting those who cannot be immunized at risk for contracting preventable diseases. The purpose of this project was to decrease the rate of immunization exemptions in Utah. In recent years, there has been a decline in the number of people who choose to vaccinate their children; this has led to deteriorating herd immunity. An increase in immunization rates will protect not only the vaccinated individual, but will also protect their family and ultimately the entire population. A secondary purpose of this project was to educate the population about immunizations and to dispel any misconceptions.

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