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According to WHO “Aiming to achieve herd immunity naturally is ‘da...

  May 23, 2020

According to WHO “Aiming to achieve herd immunity naturally is ‘dangerous’. Elaborate.

  1. The World Health Organization has condemned the “dangerous” concept of herd immunity for managing the coronavirus pandemic.
  2. As per WHO it is wrong to think that countries can “magically” make their populations immune to novel coronavirus.
  3. The concept of herd immunity is generally used for calculating how many people will need to be vaccinated in a population in order to protect those who are not vaccinated.
  4. One need to be careful while using terms in this way around natural infections in humans because it can lead to a very brutal arithmetic which does put people’s life at stake.
  5. It is believed that as greater proportion of people are getting infected, it would mean that the pandemic will be over soon and people can go back to normal business.
  6. But the preliminary results from studies are showing the opposite. 
  7. The proportion of people with significant clinical illnesses is a higher proportion of all those who have been infected. 
  8. This is because the number of people infected in the total population is probably much lower than expected. That means that it is a long way to go. This is a serious disease.
  9. Achieving herd immunity through natural infections has other challenges. While antibodies (IgG and IgM) against novel coronavirus generally develop in one–three weeks after infection, some people do not seem to develop a humoral immune response, as reflected by detectable antibodies. It is unclear why this happens. 
  10. And WHO cautions that there is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection.
  11. Infected people may have some level of protection against the virus, but the level and duration of protection is still not known.
  12. Antibody tests have been known to produce wrong results as the sensitivity and specificity of these tests is not known.