Herd immunity possible with 10%-20% exposure

May 28th, 2020

A recent study has shown the percentage of the population that needs to be exposed to a new virus to create herd immunity, could be as low as 10%. Previously it was believed that 60-70% of people needed to be exposed. This has to be a game changer.

Abstract: “Although estimates vary, it is currently believed that herd immunity to SARS-CoV-2 requires 60-70% of the population to be immune. Here we show that variation in susceptibility or exposure to infection can reduce these estimates. Achieving accurate estimates of heterogeneity for SARS-CoV-2 is therefore of paramount importance in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The herd immunity strategy was widely discussed at the beginning of COVID19 as the most effective and natural way to create a broad social immunity, and in so doing, protect the most vulnerable. The implications of this discovery for future strategies to deal with a similar virus, cannot be overstated. The facts have become increasingly clear, the vast majority of people infected by COVID19 have a mild illness or express no symptoms at all. Herd immunity would have prevented lockdown for all but the most vulnerable. Questions should be asked about the response to COVID19, and herd immunity must surely be seriously considered for any future scenario.