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Herd immunity won't work without a vaccine, Spanish scientists find
07 July 2020 @ 21:20

'HERD immunity' may not be a reliable method of reducing the spread of Covid-19, according to a study by Spanish scientists – it seems only a fraction of those exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus are immune at all.

In the case of most of the common diseases caused by airborne virii, including by other types of Coronavirus itself – one strain of Coronavirus is responsible for the common cold – vaccinating the most vulnerable members of the population largely prevents mass contagion and, in the case of some contagious or infectious diseases for which vaccinations have been invented, their prevalence has been wiped out altogether in the western world.

Diphtheria, smallpox, and even more recent conditions such as whooping cough are almost extinct now because of those likely to catch them or who would suffer worse if they did being inoculated, and unvaccinated patients who contract them being healthy enough to recover quickly with few or no side-effects, their bodies developing an immunity to them as a result.

With no vaccination as yet available for Covid-19, 'herd immunity' can only be achieved through those catching it developing antibodies that stop them getting infected again, meaning they cannot pass it onto anyone else.

But Spanish scientists have been carrying out an extensive nationwide study into seroprevalencia – the prevalence of antibodies within the population – and have concluded that around 95% of those tested have not acquired an immunity to the virus.

They tested over 60,000 volunteers who had been exposed to the Coronavirus, according to the results of the experiment published in science journal The Lancet, and discovered antibodies in only around 3,000 of them.



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