Preprint Communication Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Uncertainties Underlying Herd Immunity against COVID-19

Version 1 : Received: 7 July 2020 / Approved: 8 July 2020 / Online: 8 July 2020 (18:33:41 CEST)

How to cite: Rahimi, F.; Talebi Bezmin Abadi, A. The Uncertainties Underlying Herd Immunity against COVID-19. Preprints 2020, 2020070159 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0159.v1). Rahimi, F.; Talebi Bezmin Abadi, A. The Uncertainties Underlying Herd Immunity against COVID-19. Preprints 2020, 2020070159 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0159.v1).

Abstract

Herd immunity happens when a relatively large proportion of a population becomes infected by an agent, subsequently recovers, and attains immunity against the same agent. That proportion thus indirectly protects the naïve population by preventing the spread of the infection. Herd immunity has been suggested to interrupt and control the COVID-19 pandemic. However, relying on establishing herd immunity can be catastrophic considering the virulence and lethality of SARS-CoV-2. Meanwhile our understanding of the pathogenesis, case-fatality rate, transmission routes, and antiviral therapy for COVID-19 remains limited now. Interrupting or slowing the COVID-19 transmission seems more opportune than vaccination, antiviral therapy, or herd immunity, all of which will take some time to yield. Thus, social distancing, face-masking, and hygiene are the most appropriate immediate countermeasures. Because the social fabrics, economic implications, and local demands of various nations are unique, early relaxation of restrictions may seem hasty particularly when fatality rates are high, or when the healthcare systems could be inadequate or become inundated. Conclusively, avoiding any overwhelmingly risky approach in fighting the pandemic is prudent.

Subject Areas

COVID-19; herd immunity; pandemic; pathogenesis; SARS-CoV-2; WHO

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