Expert health officials across the world share their ideas and findings related to the to be achieved herd immunity across the country.
Global Experts Share Findings On Herd Immunity
The experts said that the goal of the country is to get to herd immunity to prevent the vigorous spread of the coronavirus, and it becomes possible both by receiving vaccines as well as a previous infection.
They clarify the wrong assumption that achieving the state of herd immunity will not make anyone immune, whereas what it does is preventing the easy share of the virus from a person to another. In a state of herd immunity, it is still possible for outbreaks to reappear, but those who are yet to get infected will be protected by it.
Lately, experts from various health authorities have said that 70% or higher is the threshold required for herd immunity. However, the present condition with more contagious variants raging across the country is putting it into more chaos. The average transmission rate of the virus determines the threshold, but once it is calculated it might not be representing every part of the country. This is because of the variations according to the change of regions.
Dr. Walter Orestein, An infectious disease expert from Emory University in Georgia said on the threshold that the rate of 64.9 can be terrible and 70.1 is fantastic. He added that even though the country reaches it, the levels of vaccination and other factors can make some changes even within a city.
Ashley St. John from Duke-NUS Medical School at Singapore said that a disruption in the chain of transmission is the indication that herd immunity is quite near, but it is yet to be achieved.
The rates of infection and hospitalization are observed by the experts parallel to the distribution of vaccine doses. This will let them decide whether to relax the restrictions imposed on the public. In case there is a remarkable drop in both figures of hospitalizations and transmission, the public can have certain relief, before reaching the herd immunity threshold. This can be practical even if it is gradual and varies from region to region.
Scientists in highly populated countries like India believe that in densely populated regions, people need to have more protection.
Dr. Jayaprakash Muliyil, the government advisor of coronavirus surveillance said that to calculate the total percentage, they look for the antibodies in people nationwide.
The efficacy of vaccines is an important factor to determine how much of the population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, according to U.S experts. This implies that if a vaccine that is being administered has a high efficacy rate, only fewer parts of the population are required to be vaccinated in the country.
The U.S experts underlined the fact that the recently discovered and more contagious strains of the virus can affect herd immunity. However, it depends on the protection received by people through both past infections as well as how the vaccines respond to them.
They also shared the fact that the ideal concept of global herd immunity is unlikely since the poor countries are yet to wait for more to get access to vaccination measures.