Herd Immunity Possible For Covid-19


Herd immunity is when the majority of the population becomes immune to a disease therefore making the spread of the disease from person to person impossible.

Herd immunity can be achieved by two methods either through vaccination or successfully curing the majority of infected individuals. Both methods result in individuals gaining access to antibodies that will help them fight against a disease. It’s estimated that 85% of the population must be immune to the disease to hold herd immunity against a disease.

In the past, types of coronaviruses such as SARS and MERSwith the introduction of vaccines were able to provide populations with herd immunity. However, it is predicted that this will not be the case for SARA-CoV-2. Several studies on Covid-19 demonstrate places classified as hot spots for the virus to show that less than 10% of recovered individuals were able to produce an immune response against the virus. This means that even with a successful vaccine SARA-CoV-2 will remain in the population and could cause several outbreaks until the population successfully achieves herd immunity. This is true as in the recent past, countries that can successfully control the first wave of the virus are now currently fighting the second wave of the virus. Therefore, it is important for all populations to follow health measures such as social distancing and washing hands until herd immunity is achieved.

Given that over 750,000 people have died from Covid-19 worldwide, if the virus does become endemic we should still try to prevent as much infection as possible”Sarah Pitt is Principal Lecturer, Microbiology and Biomedical Science Practice, Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Science, University of Brighton.