Infectious Diseases

Herd Immunity: Why COVID-19 Will Not ‘Go Away’ By Itself

9 October 2020

Key Takeaways

  • It takes longer to reach herd immunity against a virus with a high R (reproduction) number.
  • It is estimated that 67% of the population would need to be immune to COVID for herd immunity to be effective.
  • In the USA, around 2.4% of the population has had COVID, and this does not guarantee that 2.4% of the population is immune.
  • Immunity against COVID-19 might not last very long.

”The COVID-19 pandemic will eventually fizzle out without a vaccine – once we have had enough infections to reach herd immunity.” This is an idea that has been propagated by a number of public figures, including politicians. But are things really that simple? The answer is an emphatic no. Watch the above video by Cell Press to learn why naturally acquired herd immunity won’t save us from COVID.


References

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/cumulative-cases

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