Herd Immunity and CoronaVirus

First, let’s discuss how immunity works for individuals. A person can become immune (or resistant) after exposure to a disease-causing agent, such as the coronavirus causing COVID-19 in this case. The process of becoming immune includes the production of antibodies specific to the virus for future protection.

This production typically happens when a person develops the symptoms of the viral disease, but also may occur without symptoms. Irrespective of the symptoms, after significant exposure and time to develop the antibodies, a person becomes immune to that specific virus. In other words, the person is naturally “protected.”

If a large group of people – the herd – is immune to a virus, then an individual in the middle of this group is unlikely to become infected. The virus has a very hard time getting through the herd. Herd immunity, then, happens when people in a community are protected from a virus and its associated disease to a degree that people who are not immune are still protected because of the high population immunity.

Herd immunity can slow the spread of a contagious virus. Herd immunity can be alternatively achieved by vaccinating people if there is an available vaccine (or vaccines). Treatments that may be discovered and developed will help prevent progression of disease, help people recover from COVID-19 and will probably add to herd immunity.

Herd immunity is disease-specific and is influenced by the ease with which the disease spreads from person to person, or the level of contagiousness. The specifics about coronavirus and herd immunity are not yet characterized. Regardless of the specifics, achieving herd immunity by the repeated process of infection of one person, recovery and immunity will take a long time – many, many months or even years.

It will take a long time to achieve worldwide herd immunity. It may take less time in some cities or countries, but it will take time.

 

 

 

 

Credit: Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, American Heart Association Chief Medical Officer for Prevention

About Faisal Javed Mir

Faisal Javed Mir is Occupational Health and Safety Professional, having 12+ years of profound experience with multi-national companies. He has knowledge, skills, experience, tools, proven history and confidence to deliver what is required by learners. He is teaching First Aid since 2006 and certified by MEDIC First Aid International of United States for many first aid certification programs. He is the only Instructor-Trainer by MEDIC First Aid and American Health and Safety Institute (ASHI) in Pakistan.
This entry was posted in First Aid CPR and AED and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.