Strength in Numbers: The Case for Vaccination and Promoting Herd Immunity


Ian Forth

Faculty Mentor(s)

Blaise Dondji (Biomedical Science Specialization), Allyson Rogan-Klyve (Science Education)


Vaccinations are one of the most important and successful innovations in the history of scientific research. They have been promoted throughout recent medical history as a readily available and low-risk prevention method against various diseases, and they have been researched and developed extensively over the past century. Although the use of vaccinations has proven to exhibit widespread lifesaving results, their celebrated and renowned status in the field of public health is not without controversy. There has been a growing number of people that oppose the use and administration of vaccinations, who society collectively refers to as members of the “anti-vaxxer” movement. The anti-vaxxer movement is deep rooted in American society, and as states have passed laws requiring public school students to receive vaccinations, opposition to these laws has inevitably grown due to the spread of misinformation among the general public. This should be a great cause for concern in regards to public health, and in order to promote vaccines as the lifesaving innovation that they are, it is necessary to thoroughly understand the facts about vaccines and simultaneously debunk any misinformation that has made its way into public discourse. This paper explores the origins of the anti-vaxxer movement, debunks common myths and misinformation spread about vaccines, stresses the consequences of decreased immunization rates, and makes the case for promoting herd immunity through increased vaccination rates.

Keywords: Anti-Vaxxer, Vaccination, Herd Immunity


6 thoughts on “Strength in Numbers: The Case for Vaccination and Promoting Herd Immunity”

  1. Excellent presentation Ian. Your presentation was professional, engaging, and insightful. I appreciate the perspective that your review provided.
    A few questions that I have;
    Did you utilize a systematic approach to your review of the literature? if not, what methodology/framework did you utilize?
    What recommendation/s do you have for facilitating discussions with persons who may state that they doubt the science, but in fact as you mention are more concerned with the safety and efficacy of vaccinations- specifically with vaccinations for COVID-19?
    In what ways can natural herd immunity versus vaccination immunity be discussed that can mitigate the discourse between the two? I find this to be a topic that comes up frequently, and may be a potential contributor to lack of vaccine uptake, what are your thoughts?
    A recommendation I have would be to highlight the difference between natural immunity and vaccine immunity and the public health implications of both, while still focusing on vaccinations as a ‘team effort’ necessary for public health. I really appreciated the aspects of your presentation that touched on this in a neutral, and well-informed way.

    I was unable to locate the fact sheet within the attachments- can you please advise me on how I can access, and utilize your fact sheet.

    Well done!

    1. Very interesting presentation, especially the portion on the history of vaccination requirements, which I knew nothing about. Nice job!

  2. Hello Mr. Forth,
    I thought you did an amazing job! I was very impressed and interested in your research and presentation. I thought you were concise and thorough in what you wanted to get across. I think it’s great that you want to inform and educate the public about the misinformation out there about vaccinations and the consequences of actively choosing not to have them.

  3. Great presentation, Ian. Very informative. I actually learned a lot from your presentation as everything was clearly explained. This presentation and all these information are very much needed during this pandemic to clear up all misinformation and to increase vaccination rates. Great work.

  4. Ian,
    Very well presented and you are brave for tackling such a controversial issue in our society currently!
    Do you think it would be beneficial to touch upon the way in which the medical community shifted traditional vaccine production methods and the body of research already conducted on previous coronaviruses? I personally was skeptical of the vaccine creation timeline until I researched further how this was made possible.
    It would be helpful to have a slide, perhaps toward the end, where the vaccine information sheet was viewable within the presentation as there seems to be an issue with the attachment.

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