Given the wise nature of SARS-CoV-2, it may not be possible to reach herd immunity. Federal health officials say the goal instead is to figure out how to live with the virus.
According to it’s new article Written by Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and two NIAID officials published Thursday in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Fauci has long questioned herd immunity as a benchmark to end the COVID-19 pandemic. “Elusive” or “mysterious”.
Herd immunity is the idea that once a certain percentage of the population gains immunity as a result of natural infection or vaccination, the virus is no longer considered a major public health threat. However, the evolving nature of SARS-CoV-2 and the weakening of immunity due to the COVID-19 vaccine or natural infection all complicate the ability to reach all sorts of immune thresholds that ensure the end of a pandemic.
“Achieving complete herd immunity with COVID-19 poses significant obstacles,” wrote NIAID officials. “” Classic “herd immunity, which leads to the eradication or elimination of disease, is almost certainly an unattainable goal. “
The concept of herd immunity quickly became mainstream in the early days of the pandemic and has since become a politically burdensome term used to drive the reopening of businesses, schools, and workplaces.
Scott Atlas, an adviser to the Trump administration, said Reportedly Like Sweden, the United States has not been confirmed to pursue herd immunity. “Sweden’s pandemic strategy seemed to target’natural’herd immunity and avoid social closure,” the researchers write. research It was published in Nature last month. )
A study Since 2020, the herd immunity threshold of the original strain of virus has been estimated to be about 67%.
However, during the surge caused by the more infectious delta mutations in mid-2021, some infectious disease experts say that what percentage of the population needs to be “immunized” to achieve herd immunity. I tried to recalculate what was there and moved the target to 80% and 90% from the previous estimate of 50%, 60%, or 70%.
“The more infectious, the higher the number,” said Dr. Gabor Keren, chair of the Johns Hopkins University School of Emergency Medicine. Told MarketWatch last summer.
The summer surge also revealed how quickly immunity weakens. An estimated 72.2% of adults in Los Angeles County had protective antibodies by either infection or vaccination in April 2021. However, within three months, the county was fully plunged into a surge in cases caused by the delta variant. Research letter It was published in the JAMA network that opened in January.
“It may be harder than expected to reach herd immunity,” the researchers concluded.
NIAID officials say that immunity to viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 and influenza is a more “fluid concept.” This means that some people have long-lasting immunity to COVID-19 infection, while others are more likely to be protected. A type of serious illness that leads to hospitalization and death.
Then there are the nuances of this particular virus. New variants may escape spontaneous or vaccine-induced immunity, asymptomatic infections may still occur, immunity from vaccines or past infections may diminish, such as wearing masks and vaccination. I now know that there was “substantial” resistance to public health tools. NIAID staff.
This may be the reason why the 1918 influenza pandemic, and more recently the 2009 H1N1 epidemic, is still occurring, and SARS-CoV-2 is likely to stay here.
“The virus epidemic hopes for low endemic levels, but it can last indefinitely,” they write.