Coronavirus Herd Immunity May Be 'Unachievable' New Study Warns

Coronavirus Herd Immunity May Be 'Unachievable' New Study Warns

Coronavirus Herd Immunity May Be 'Unachievable' New Study Warns

Only 5% of 61,075 participants in the study presented with antibodies, a far cry from the 50 to 90% of the population required to achieve immunity, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The researchers conducted a nationwide antibody study, spanning more than 60,000 people, which showed that some 5.2 percent of the population in Spain had been exposed to the new coronavirus.

The findings show that 95% of Spain's population remains susceptible to the virus.

Spain has been just one of the countries in Europe strike toughest by the coronavirus, with extra than 28,000 fatalities and 250,000 circumstances.

"At present, herd immunity is hard to achieve without accepting the collateral damage of many deaths in the susceptible population and overburdening of health systems", the study said.

Further, if too many people get infected, the burden on our healthcare system could be vast, which could lead to higher death rates. Health officials said this week that of the almost 10,000 residents of the city of Bergamo who had blood tests done between April 23 and June 3, approximately 57 percent had antibodies, indicating that they had come into contact with the virus.

"Despite the high impact of Covid-19 in Spain, prevalence estimates remain low and are clearly insufficient to provide herd immunity".

"Findings such as this reinforce the idea that faced with a lethal infection that induces rather short-lived immunity, the challenge is to identify the best vaccine strategies able to overcome these problems and stimulate a large, sustained, optimal, immune response in the way the virus failed to do", Prof Altmann said. There have been similar but smaller studies about herd immunity in China and the United States.

If a significant portion of the population gets vaccinated against a pathogen, herd immunity is said to have been achieved.

"Immunity can be incomplete, it can be transitory, it can last for just a short time and then disappear", said Dr Raquel Yotti, director of Spain's Carlos III Health Institute, which co-led the study.

The number of infection in the country stands at 700000 and the death rate is 1% and for a population of 1.3 billion 1% is a stark number of casualties.

"With a large majority of the population being infection naïve, virus circulation can quickly return to early pandemic dimensions in a second wave once measures are lifted", the Lancet's commentary authors Eckerle and Meyer wrote of the findings. The third-phase results will be released next Monday and are expected to align closely with the current figures.

The goal of this nationwide population-based study was to estimate the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Spain at national and regional levels.

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