Canada’s top doctor warns against relying on herd immunity to reopen economy
Canada’s top doctor says there isn’t enough evidence to back herd immunity as a way to reopen society, as Quebec’s premier is considering the approach to restart his province’s economy.
“The idea of … generating natural immunity is actually not something that should be undertaken,” Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said Saturday, urging people to be “extremely cautious” about the concept.
Herd immunity is conferred when enough people in a given population have been infected with a virus, marking them immune to reinfection and slowing down the rate at which the virus spreads on its own.
The World Health Organization (WHO) published a brief Friday stating that there is “currently no evidence” that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies would be protected from a second infection, but clarified Saturday that most people infected would end up with “some level of protection.” – cbc
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There is no guarantee that there ever will be a successful vaccine developed. There has never been a successful vaccine for a coronavirus. Even if a vaccine was developed, it would a year from now at the earliest. It would be irresponsible to depend on the development of a vaccine, that will take 12-18 months or longer to develop, if a successful vaccine is even possible, before governments start to open up the economy.
Herd immunity is a natural defense against viruses. Sweden says that it is around two weeks away from reaching herd immunity. We will see then if it works,
…then how is a vaccine going to be effective? What the WHO is afraid of is that the world’s population will become immune to the virus before the Gates Foundation and the pharmaceutical corporations can come up with a vaccine. A vaccine that is a year or two away at best. Maybe never.
A treatment is more likely and should be the top priority of all medical research right now.