At a media briefing on Monday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated well being officers sometimes intention to attain herd immunity by vaccination. Tedros famous that to acquire herd immunity from a extremely infectious illness corresponding to measles, for instance, about 95% of the inhabitants should be immunized.
“Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it,” he stated. Some researchers have argued that permitting COVID-19 to unfold in populations that aren’t clearly weak will assist construct up herd immunity and is a extra real looking method to cease the pandemic, as an alternative of the restrictive lockdowns which have proved economically devastating.
“Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to an outbreak,” Tedros stated.
Tedros stated that too little was identified about immunity to COVID-19 to know if herd immunity is even achievable.
“We have some clues, but we don’t have the complete picture,” he stated, noting that WHO had documented cases of individuals turning into reinfected with coronavirus after recovering from an preliminary bout of the virus. Tedros stated that whereas most individuals seem to develop some sort of immune response, it is unclear how lengthy that lasts or how sturdy that safety is – and that completely different folks have various responses.
“Allowing a dangerous virus that we don’t fully understand to run free is simply unethical,” he stated.
WHO estimates lower than 10% of the inhabitants has any immunity to the coronavirus, that means the overwhelming majority of the world stays inclined.
Tedros additionally famous nations had reported record-high every day figures of COVID-19 to the U.N. well being company for the final 4 days, citing surges in Europe and the Americas specifically.