Herd immunity is a form of indirect protection or immunization from an otherwise contagious disease. It happens when a large portion of a certain population becomes immune to infection. This usually occurs through vaccination or prior infection.
Now, the raging question of 2020 is, can we get herd immunity from COVID-19? The answer is still obscure. Let’s see what the experts have to say!
We are far from achieving herd immunity through natural infection: Experts
To achieve herd immunity through the natural infection process, a certain portion of the community must contract the disease and then get immunity from it. For more contagious diseases, this percentage of the immune population needs to be higher. For highly contagious diseases like measles, the threshold proportion of the immune population is around 94%.
The pre-requisite for achieving herd immunity from COVID-19 is when more than 60% of the population contracts the virus, however, we are far from that. Statistical analysis and experts suggest that the number of infected people is way less than that Even in areas of a severe outbreak, the number of cases was still less than 20% of the population.
Moreover, for COVID-19 the antibody protection lasts only for 3 to 4 weeks. So, the idea of achieving herd immunity for COVID-19 is quite ambiguous. The only way to be immune to the disease is to get vaccinated.
How can we get this immunity from COVID-19?
There are two ways in which we can herd immunity from COVID-19.
Vaccines will help create immunity from COVID-19 without imparting the disease itself. For so many years, we have been able to achieve immunity from several diseases like polio, rubella, smallpox among others, even in newborn babies. Scientists from all over the world are working on finding a vaccine for COVID-19, but the vaccines are still in the testing phase.
- Natural infection
The more risky way to achieve herd immunity is a natural infection. The idea is that when a significantly large number of the population contracts the disease, they will develop antibodies for the disease which will protect them from reinfection. However, in the case of COVID-19, it is still unclear if this method will work since infected people do not retain the antibodies for more than 3 weeks.
In a nutshell, experts are still finding answers to a lot of questions regarding COVID-19. In this time of health crisis, healthestimates.com is here for you for all your medical emergencies and health problems. Log on to healthestimates.com or call at 219 321-0009 or 708 754-5300 – leave all your health woes to us and relax.
Here’s to a healthier future and happier times.