What is herd immunity? Does it help to fight covid19?
Herd immunity or herd protection in simple terms is nothing but when a larger section of people in a community or country gains resistance power to fight any infectious, contagious diseases like covid19 epidemic.
When majority of the people get exposed to such diseases and develop antibodies in their blood to survive, chances are less that they spread virus to other people. It helps in flattening the curve.
To put in a nutshell, the idea is that the higher proportion of the population should be exposed to the virus and survive by developing antibodies in their blood, so they will not get effected again. Therefore, they do not transmit virus to others.
As of now, its an assumption that virus will not attack again on those who are already survived it. At the same time, we have not seen such cases so far.
How it works?
In this scenario, we need at least 70%-80% of the population to be immunized.
Once, 70%-80% of the population is immunized to the disease, through social distancing and by taking some preventive measures we can save remaining 20%-30% population.
This helps in easily isolating the unaffected ones from effected people and it lowers the burden on health care system as well.
Herd immunity can be achieved in two ways.
- Naturally 2) Mass Vaccination
As we already discussed that we need 70%-80% population to be immunized naturally to break the chain.
According to WHO(world health organization) and Stanford, through their recent studies and extensive surveys on countries like Sweden, Germany, France, China etc. it is clearly noticed that only 2%-3% of population are having antibodies in their blood to fight the disease naturally.
That’s definitely not a good sign.
In this regard, no country can afford to experiment on herd immunity without having a vaccine.
Especially in hugely populated countries like India we cannot go for herd immunity without a medicine or vaccine in the place.
Imagine that there is no medicine for covid19 and if virus is attacking back on those who already survived. That could be the worst thing that can happen to our planet because it spreads like a wildfire without any control. There is no way to stop it.
Mass vaccination has helped us to fight many diseases like polio, hepatitis etc. in the yesteryear’s.
As of now, this is vague because covid19 is first of its kind.
So, its advisable to cope up with the situations slowly in daily life by maintaining social distance (physical distance), take necessary precautions to stay hygiene until we get a medicine or vaccine.
Definitely, there is a hope for some light at the end of the tunnel as entire world has encountered many epidemics in the past and able to come out successfully.
Physical and Mental health both are important to deal with uncertainty. It’s important for us to be positive, united and maintain a good harmony at tough times to bring the best out of the worst.
This too shall pass.
Feel free to share your opinions!