Herd immunity against COVID-19 following omicron an elusive concept, says expert

0 26

Is omicron leading us closer to herd immunity against COVID-19?

Experts say it’s not likely that the highly transmissible variant — or any other variant — will lead to herd immunity.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

“Herd immunity is an elusive concept and doesn’t apply to coronavirus,” says Dr. Don Milton at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Herd immunity is when enough of a population is immune to a virus that it’s hard for the germ to spread to those who aren’t protected by vaccination or a prior infection.

For example, herd immunity against measles requires about 95 percent of a community to be immune. Early hopes of herd immunity against the coronavirus faded for several reasons.

One is that antibodies developed from available vaccines or previous infection dwindle with time. While vaccines offer strong protection against severe illness, waning antibodies mean it’s still possible to get infected — even for those who are boosted.

Then there’s the huge variation in vaccinations. In some low-income countries, less than 5 percent of the population is vaccinated. Rich countries are struggling with vaccine hesitancy.

And young children still aren’t eligible in many places.

As long as the virus spreads, it mutates — helping the virus survive and giving rise to new variants. Those mutants — such as omicron — can become better at evading the protection people have from vaccines or an earlier infection.

Populations are moving toward “herd resistance,” where infections will continue, but people have enough protection that future spikes won’t be as disruptive to society, Milton says.

Many scientists believe COVID-19 will eventually become like the flu and cause seasonal outbreaks but not huge surges.

Read more: South Korea says omicron COVID-19 variant 75 percent less likely to kill than delta

FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Trusted Bulletin is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – trustedbulletin.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.