Herd Immunity

From Medscape

A controversial proposal that promotes building herd immunity to COVID-19 through natural infection among populations with low mortality risk has been called “unethical,” impractical, and “dangerous.”

Low mortality risk…so which of your friends do you want to die for a cockamamie scheme that has no hard data behind it. You get herd immunity through vaccines.

This is a fringe component of epidemiology. This is not mainstream science. It’s dangerous.

Gregg Gonsalves, PhD, a global epidemiologist and assistant professor at Yale School of Public Health

Fringe has been mainstream since 2016.

How do we isolate all vulnerable people? How are these people identified? What if a vulnerable person lives in a house with non-vulnerable people? Are they going to be taken away from their families? Who is going to pay for it? Do you just isolate the entire family? What about the fact that immunity from the virus goes away with time?

It is not possible to fully identify vulnerable individuals, and it is not possible to fully isolate them. Furthermore, we know that immunity to coronaviruses wanes over time, and re-infection is possible — so lasting protection of vulnerable individuals by establishing ‘herd immunity’ is very unlikely to be achieved in the absence of a vaccine.

Rupert Beale, PhD

I guess in an effort for balance, the article ends with a number of paragraphs discussing the thoughts of David Katz, MD, MPH who was a signer of the herd immunity declaration.

What’s needed is much more protection in nursing homes and much less disruption around schools.

Again, what do you do with the seniors who live with younger relatives and don’t live in a nursing home? Plus, isn’t it still inhumane to restrict people in nursing homes to see the people they love? In schools, do teachers with auto-immune conditions or diabetes not matter? What about teachers and school staff with vulnerable people at home?

He goes on to say that policies would have to be made to develop “risk tiers”. Who makes these policies? The CDC, Congress? By the time these policies are made, we’ll have a vaccine.

Our efforts need to be focused on ubiquitous fast testing and the vaccine. Then again, that would bump up the numbers of infected which certain people don’t want to know about.

Stay safe. Wear a mask.

No more COVID talk unless something worthwhile or interesting comes up. Tomorrow, I plan on posting my first impressions of Mario Kart Live.