Herd Immunity Approaches To Control Covid «Dangerous Fallacy» : Scientists.

Herd Immunity Approaches To Control COVID-19 'A Dangerous Fallacy': Scientists

Researchers cautioned that there is currently no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2

London:

Managing COVID-19 by allowing herd immunity to develop in low-risk populations while protecting the most vulnerable is "a dangerous fallacy unsupported by the scientific evidence," warn an international group of 80 researchers in an open letter.

The letter, published in The Lancet journal, referred to by its authors as the John Snow Memorandum, noted that any pandemic management strategy relying upon the population to develop immunity from natural infections for COVID-19 is flawed.

In the face of a second wave of infection in several parts of the world, the scientists including Devi Sridhar from the University of Edinburgh in the UK, said there is currently renewed interest in herd immunity approaches allowing a large uncontrolled outbreak in low-risk populations while protecting the vulnerable.

While some have argued this approach could lead to the development of infection-acquired immunity in the low-risk population, which will eventually protect the vulnerable, the researchers explained such uncontrolled transmission in younger people risks significant ill-health and death.

Based on evidence from many countries, the scientists said it is not possible to restrict uncontrolled outbreaks to certain sections of society, adding that it is "practically impossible" and "highly unethical" to isolate large swathes of the population.

While special efforts to protect the most vulnerable are essential, they said these must go hand-in-hand with multi-pronged population-level strategies.

"Effective measures that suppress and control transmission need to be implemented widely, and they must be supported by financial and social programmes that encourage community responses and address the inequities that have been amplified by the pandemic," they wrote in the letter.

"Continuing restrictions will probably be required in the short term, to reduce transmission and fix ineffective pandemic response systems, in order to prevent future lockdowns," the researchers said.

According to the scientists, the restrictions can effectively suppress the number if infections to low levels that allow rapid detection of localised outbreaks.

They said such measures can also compliment rapid response through efficient and comprehensive testing, contact tracing, isolation and support systems.

"Protecting our economies is inextricably tied to controlling COVID-19. We must protect our workforce and avoid long-term uncertainty," they said.

Newsbeep


The researchers cautioned that there is currently no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 after natural infection.

They said this waning immunity as a result of natural infection would not end the COVID-19 pandemic but instead result in repeated waves of transmission over several years.

According to the scientists, vulnerable populations are at risk for the indefinite future, as natural infection-based herd immunity strategies would result in recurrent epidemics, as seen with many infectious diseases before mass vaccination.

So they called for controlling the spread of the virus until the population can be vaccinated.

Natural infection-based herd immunity approaches risk impacting the workforce as a whole and overwhelming the ability of healthcare systems to provide acute and routine care, the researchers warned.

They said clinicians still do not understand who might suffer from 'long COVID' in which the symptoms linger for weeks.

"The evidence is very clear: controlling community spread of COVID-19 is the best way to protect our societies and economies until safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics arrive within the coming months," the scientists wrote.

"We cannot afford distractions that undermine an effective response; it is essential that we act urgently based on the evidence," they concluded.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news

3 Injured In Shooting At New York's Times Square

A shooting in New York's bustling Times Square has injured two women and a four-year-old girl, in an incident US authorities were still scrambling to understand, police said Saturday.

NDTV News

Sadiq Khan, London's Feisty Mayor, Wins Second Term.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who won re-election Saturday, has risen from humble roots to spar with prime ministers and presidents since taking charge of the British capital five years ago.

NDTV News

Dozens Injured In New Jerusalem Clashes

Dozens more people were injured Saturday as Israeli police fired water cannon and rubber bullets to disperse Palestinian protesters in annexed east Jerusalem, a day after fierce clashes at the city's...

NDTV News

Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman caught kissing with masks, 'Tucker' reacts.

Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman caught kissing with masks, 'Tucker' reacts.

'Watters World' host Jesse Watters asks why kids can be crammed together at the border but couples can't dance on their wedding on 'Tucker Carlson Tonight.' #FoxNews #Tucker Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel ...

Examining whether police should enforce traffic stops.

Examining whether police should enforce traffic stops.

ABC News’ Devin Dwyer looks at calls to remove police from traffic enforcement in the wake of violent and deadly encounters from routine stops.

Where does nuclear power fit in as the U.S. begins moving away from fossil fuels

Where does nuclear power fit in as the U.S. begins moving away from fossil fuels

President Biden aims to cut the country's carbon emissions by half by 2030, and move to a net-zero carbon economy by 2050. Central to that plan is investments in renewable energy sources, like wind, solar and hydroelectric power. But what about nu...

Climate expert weighs in on Biden's promise to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate expert weighs in on Biden's promise to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

President Biden is making climate change and the environment one of the key agenda items of his administration. The president has promised to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. He says that goal can be reached by passing his $2 trillion...

7 4

«We haven't got over the line, that's quite clear from the ballots».

«We haven't got over the line, that's quite clear from the ballots».

"We haven't got over the line, that's quite clear from the ballots" Shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon "it's pretty clear from the way that the ballots are landing that we are not close to winning this despite our best endeavours."

Trey Gowdy predicts US will 'be drawn back into conflict' in Afghanistan.

Trey Gowdy predicts US will 'be drawn back into conflict' in Afghanistan.

'Special Report' panel discuss how the US should handle Afghan interpreters left behind as troops head home. #FoxNewsSubscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassin...