What Is Herd Immunity and How Does It Work? Explained by a Scientist and a Researcher.


What Is Herd Immunity and How Does It Work? Explained by a Scientist and a Researcher.

Herd immunity refers to when a large enough portion of a population has developed immunity to prevent a pathogen from spreading. Herd immunity can be compared to a fire that breaks out in a field: If the field is dry and weedy, the fire will quickly catch and spread. The fire will go out if the field is well-maintained with watering and trimming. Future embers that may fall there will have a much lower chance of igniting.

SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, is similar to the embers.

In theory, herd immunity can be achieved by infection and recovery or vaccination. Many people would die or be forced to live with post-recovery problems if we try to develop herd immunity through infection. Furthermore, studies have revealed that the immunological response elicited by infection does not necessarily provide adequate long-term protection against COVID-19 and its developing variants. As a result, public health experts continue to advocate coronavirus immunization for the best and most dependable protection.

When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, scientists scrambled to produce vaccinations so that people could build protection and curb the coronavirus’s rapid spread. In the meanwhile, practically every country has made social separation, masking, and other public health measures mandatory or encouraged.

Unfortunately, due to the uneven implementation of these initiatives, large-scale surges, and the introduction of the highly transmissible delta variant, public health professionals have had to recalculate what it would take to achieve COVID-19 “herd immunity.”

Why Is Herd Immunity Important?

Prior experience with respiratory viruses similar to the novel coronavirus allowed public health officials to make reasonable guesses about what would be required to achieve COVID-19’s lower threshold of herd immunity. To effectively delay or stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2, they estimated that roughly 70% of the population would need to be vaccinated.

Experts have amended that estimate as the delta version continues to spread fast over the world. Epidemiologists and other public health professionals now believe that herd immunity for COVID-19 would need vaccination of closer to 90% of the US population.

Viruses that cause polio and measles, for example, required decades of education and vaccination campaigns to acquire herd immunity and eventually be eradicated in the United States. However, in light of the new… Nokia News – Quick Recap


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