A vaccine or extraordinary restrictions on free movement and assembly are some of the ways to stop COVID-19 disease for good. While the vaccine is still needed to be developed, restrictions can be difficult since the virus has already spread to over 100 nations throughout the world. Thus, people are talking about yet another way to prevent deadly disease- via herd immunity.

What is herd immunity?

If a virus keeps spreading, it will eventually affect lots of people and they will all survive and get immune so that the outbreak will fizzle out on its own. Soon, it will turn out that the deadly virus will find it harder and harder to find a susceptible host. Such a phenomenon is called 'herd immunity.' While it can be potentially effective, it is still a horrible option to consider, mentioned Technology Review.

“If someone with measles is surrounded by people who are vaccinated against measles, the disease cannot easily be passed on to anyone, and it will quickly disappear again,” the Independent quoted the Vaccine Knowledge Project at Oxford University.  “This is called ‘herd immunity’, ‘community immunity’ or ‘herd protection’, and it gives protection to vulnerable people such as newborn babies, elderly people and those who are too sick to be vaccinated”, it stated.

Is herd immunity a good plan?

While it might seem like a wise strategy, the absence of a coronavirus vaccine might imply that it can be highly risky. The ideal way to rapidly develop herd immunity can be only through a vaccine. Vaccination delivers a small amount of a virus into the body and the immune system learns to fight it off without having to experience the symptoms. Since vaccines are yet to be developed and the infection keeps spreading, some people might develop a mild version of the disease and recover. However, it can be quite dangerous as well as unethical to rely on such a method to combat COVID-19, mentioned The Conversation.

Herd immunity only works if the majority of a population is vaccinated against a disease and it doesn’t protect against all vaccine-preventable diseases.

crowd-2152653_1920 Herd Immunity Photo: 8385, Pixabay