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Community Immunity

This webpage comprises of vaccine education and resources in relations to the people around the infant and pregnant person. It will define “Community Immunity,” the purpose for the “circle of protection”, as well as provide educational information and resources needed concerning vaccines for family and caregivers.

DEFINITION: What is Community Immunity?

According to the CDC- “Community Immunity” is a situation in which a sufficient proportion of a population is immune to an infectious disease, making the spread of the disease from person to person unlikely.

How can community immunity be achieved?

Community immunity is achieved when enough people in the population have developed protective antibodies against the    disease.

Refer to “General Vaccine Information” webpage within this toolkit for more resources regarding the different types of immunities.

What is the percentage a community needs to be immune in order to achieve community immunity?

The percentage of protection to achieve community immunity varies by disease. The more contagious the disease is, the greater the proportion of the population needs to be immune to the disease to stop the spread.

Community Immunity Thresholds
family round


An infant's family members and caregivers should be up to date on their vaccinations to help form a circle of disease protection around the baby.

These individuals could include:

  • Parents and caregivers
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents
  • Babysitters and nannies
  • Home visitors

Some people mistakenly believe that they do not need to vaccinate their family members because so many other people have had their immunizations, but hundreds of thousands of people don’t have full immunity (young babies who are not fully vaccinated, people undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, people with HIV, children on steroids for asthma- to name a few). Since the bacteria and viruses that cause these diseases still exist throughout the world, the only way to keep diseases away, and help keep families and communities healthy is to work together and create a circle of protection.

For more resources around Community Immunity, please refer to VaccinteYourFamily- Vaccines Protect Communities.


Vaccines are administered over a period of time, which may make infants vulnerable to an infection while they are unprotected.

  • Ex: Newborns are unable to be vaccinated against whooping cough disease until 2 months of age or the flu until 6 months of age.

Anyone who is around the newborn should be up to date on all routine vaccines at least two weeks before meeting the newborn because it takes approximately two weeks to develop antibodies after vaccination.

For more information regarding vaccines for family and caregivers, please access the CDC Vaccines for Family and Caregivers.



Individuals should be vaccinated for:

  • Whooping cough
    • DTaP for children under 7 years old
    • Tdap for individuals 7 years or older
  • Annual (seasonal) flu
  • COVID-19
People of all ages need Whooping Cough vaccine graphic

To determine what vaccines each adult member may need to be up to date please refer below to an assessment tool: