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What is Herd Immunity and How to Achieve During COVID-19

What is Herd Immunity and How to Achieve During COVID-19

Chad Ingalls
3 minute read

What is Herd Immunity?

Herd immunity means population immunity. It is the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune. Either to vaccination or immunity developed through previous infections.
It has to be achieved through vaccination, not by allowing disease to spread through any segment of the population. That would result in unnecessary cases and deaths. Vaccines train our immune system to create a protein that fights disease known as antibodies. Vaccinated people are protected from getting the disease in question and passing on the pathogens breaking any chains of transmission.

What To Do?

One of the aims of working towards herd immunity is to keep vulnerable groups who cannot get vaccinated safe and protected from the disease. Achieving Herd immunity with safe and effective vaccines makes diseases rarer and saves lives. The percentage of people who need to be immune to achieve herd immunity varies with each disease. Like it is 95% for measles and 80% for polio. The proportion of the population that must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to begin inducing herd immunity is unknown yet. It is an important area of research and should be prioritised.

Control Scale

If 80% of the population is immune to a virus, four out of every five people who encounter someone with the disease won't get sick. The spread of infectious disease can be kept under control. Depending on how contagious and infectious it is, between 50% to 90% per cent of a population needs immunity before infection rates start to decline.

Below any herd immunity, threshold immunity in the population can still have a positive effect. Both viral evolution and change in how people interact can bring this number up or down. The higher the level of immunity, the larger is the benefit. Therefore, it is significant to get as many people as possible vaccinated.

How to Achieve It With COVID-19?

You can develop resistance naturally. When your body is exposed to a virus, it makes antibodies, which remain back in the body after recovery. That will defend against another infection.

Secondly, vaccine builds resistance. It makes the body think a virus has infected it. But you don't get sick, but your immune system still makes protective antibodies, making you stronger for the next attack.

If we were to go back to a pre-pandemic lifestyle, we would need at least 70% of the population to be immune. The reduction in the rate of infection depends most importantly on how people interact with each other. More the society opens up, the virus mutates to become more contagious.

If people stop distancing and masking then there will be additional waves of surging infection. The more people the virus infects, the more chances it has to mutate. this can decrease the effectiveness of the vaccines, and make the pandemic harder to control in the long run.

The best way to beat the pandemic is to vaccinate people as quickly as possible, following the prevention measures simultaneously. It requires widespread vaccine uptake among all parts of the population- including all ages and races, in all cities, suburbs and countryside. As everyone is interconnected, an outbreak anywhere can lead to resurgence. Therefore, efforts are required until vaccination is widespread.

Future Expectations

It is difficult to predict the future because many factors like new variants, changes in our behaviour and seasonal effects are at play. We have multiple effective vaccines available now. So, the more people are vaccinated, the less opportunity the virus will have to spread in the population and the closer we will be able to herd immunity. Until a large majority of the population is vaccinated, there will still be a risk of infection and outbreaks. We will need to take some precautions.

Our Contribution

Though we will build up immunity to this virus, life will be able to return to "normal" eventually. Our part in the future is to wear a mask, maintain distance, avoid indoor gatherings and get vaccinated asap.

There are so many various things that you may require till the target of vaccination is achieved. And so you may get each and everything available at the Brooklyn Equipment.

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