Herd Immunity for protection against COVID – 19


Herd Immunity for protection against COVID – 19

The World Health Organization has declared COVID – 19 as a pandemic and has asked the different countries to take the required aggressive and urgent action against this disease. There are talks of adopting the ‘herd immunity’ to tackle this non-stop virus which has managed to bring the world to its knees.

What is Herd Immunity?

Community Immunity also known as herd immunity is a situation in which a specific number of the population is immune to a disease which is infectious (through prior illness or vaccination) to make this spread from one person to another person highly unlikely. In simple words, our body fights the infectious disease through the immune system. On recovering, most often the immunological memory is retained which enables us to fight the same disease anytime in the future.

A new disease, like the COVID – 19 can stop spreading if enough people develop this immune memory. This is herd immunity and works well for saving the population against infectious diseases.

Herd Immunity for COVID – 19:

The concept of the herd immunity for COVID – 19 is not only to let the disease run its course but also slow the spread of this and protect those who are most vulnerable to this.

This strategy of slowing COVID – 19 seems to be promising, more so when this is combined with measures to protect those with underlying health conditions and the elderly. This slowing down of the disease gives the NHS more time for developing vaccines and treatments.

This delay strategy combined with containment and surveillance can help in combating the spread of the corona virus.

Is this Approach Preferable?

Countries which are badly affected with the corona virus, like South Korea, Italy and China, have adopted the obvious path of making efforts to contain the virus by ensuring ‘social distancing’ measures. This includes banning mass gatherings and closing down public places. There is hope that this virus can be contained with these strategies.

This herd immunity can protect people who are not vaccinated due to the immune systems not being strong enough. The theory behind this is when anyone gets vaccinated it is not only the individual who is protected against the disease but the disease cannot be transmitted to others. This is a savior.

Treatment of the COVID – 19:

You need to be aware that there is no specific treatment for the COVID – 19. Those who are infected are treated symptomatically. This means the symptoms are treated and not the disease. A number of anti viral have been tested in the labs and the researchers found that remdesvir could stop the virus from replicating. They also found that chloroquine, which is used for auto immune diseases and for malaria, worked effective in stopping the virus from spreading in the human cells. These drugs had low concentrations and were effective. Neither of the drugs proved toxic to the cells of humans.

With the dedicated efforts of all the health organizations and the leaders of different countries, we can only hope that an effective solution to this major problem is got fast.

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