Coronavirus: Is Herd Immunity Against COVID-19 Now Just a Fantasy? | News from the UK


New research shows that the antibodies disappear quickly in a quarter of people once they recover from the disease.

And the scientists behind it don’t believe enough of the population will ever acquire immunity to stop coronavirus diffusion.

“Keeping your fingers crossed and hoping that people become immune is not a strategy that will work,” Professor Helen Ward, one of the researchers at Imperial College London, told Sky News.

Passengers wearing face masks at Waterloo Station in London as face coverings become mandatory on public transport in England 6/15/2020
Vaccines have been needed to eradicate diseases in the past

This has stirred up the social media hornet’s nest. Herd immunity has loyal and sometimes aggressive supporters.

A more measured answer came from Dr. David Livermore, one of the scientists behind it The Great Barrington Declaration, the manifesto of herd immunity.

He believes vulnerable people could be safely protected as the virus tears apart the young and healthy, who lead their normal lives, in a time that would protect everyone.

He is far from dismayed by antibody research.

He claims other parts of the immune system remain on guard, ready to take up arms should the virus recur.

The problem is that there is no test that can effectively measure on a large enough scale the T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes, the immune sentinels it refers to.

Instead, it points to the handful of people who have had documented re-infections.

This must surely indicate that people are protected, he insists.

Not so, say the imperial scientists. There could be many more with asymptomatic diseases and if they transmit the virus, the vulnerable would be at risk once they emerge from the shield.

The truth is, herd immunity has never been achieved by a natural infection.

It takes a vaccine to bring down smallpox into oblivion, a vaccine to put polio on the brink of eradication, a vaccine to make measles a forgotten killer.

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We will likely have a vaccine for COVID-19 in a few months it provides at least some protection against disease.

In the meantime, it would be a courageous government to experiment with natural immunity without valid evidence.

Yes, the blockade is an economic disaster. And yes, there are health consequences.

But as attractive as herd immunity may be on paper, if it doesn’t actually work the consequences for the elderly, the sick, the obese and those in the BAME communities can’t bear to think about it.

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