Pursuing herd immunity is a dangerous mirage, some scientists say
The idea of letting the Covid-19 virus circulate freely to achieve herd immunity, shuffled at the beginning of the pandemic, is increasingly emerging as a dangerous mirage, according to some scientists.
It is about allowing a certain proportion of the population to be infected with the virus so that the pandemic stops on its own, in the absence of new people to infect.
But, after months of health emergencies, apparently “we are very, very far” from reaching that threshold, Frédéric Altare, an immunity specialist at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, told AFP.
The World Health Organization (WHO) stated earlier this week: Never, in the history of public health, has herd immunity been used as a strategy to respond to an epidemic, let alone a pandemic. It is problematic from a scientific and ethical point of view, said its CEO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Letting go of a virus, from which many things escape us, according to the WHO leader, is unethical. It is not an option, he insisted.
The WHO estimates that in most countries, 10% of the population could have been infected with SARS-CoV-2.