People should avoid using the time period ‘herd immunity’ in the context of coronavirus illness as it is unlikely to materialise throughout our lifetimes, an expert has warned.
Herd immunity is a stage where a certain % of the population gets infected with the virus and develops immunity against it, breaking the transmission chain. It interrupts the transmission chain and the virus is deliver to an nearly absolute halt.
Herd immunity was one of the talked about ides, and plenty believed that the world will reach a stage the place the virus will get eliminated. In an article for The Conversation, Shabir A. Madhi, dean faculty of health sciences and professor of vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand, has now maintoned that the virus is unlikely to be eliminated.
Madhi listed several reasons that, he said, have forced a shift in our thinking about herd immunity, together the mutations making the virus more transmissible and their ability to vaccine-induced immunity. The inequitable distribution of vaccines across the world, with low- and lower-middle-income countries largely bearing the brunt of it, provides fertile floor for the virus to mutate, he added.
“The UK experience is where we should be heading. That is getting back to a relatively normal lifestyle, provided that we’ve got a adequate number of people vaccinated, and particularly people who are at highe risk of developing severe COVID-19,” he wrote.
Madhi opined that since no country will lock its border perpetually, the entire global population will need to reach a similar immunity threshold about the same time. He suggested that the world should rather be heading the way the UK has moved high vaccination rates and getting back to a relatively normal lifestyle.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had stressed that herd immunity has never in the public health been used as a strategy for responding to a virus outbreak. The World Health Organisation has long back ruled out herd immunity strategy as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, saying it scientifically and ethically problematic.