The Facts About Herd Immunity and COVID-19

Why aiming for herd immunity still makes no sense for COVID-19

Gideon M-K; Health Nerd


Gotta love how many photos of “COVID” on stock websites are just…weird. Source: Pexels

In this year of unexpected nonsense, the one thing that I would’ve never predicted is the hydra of herd immunity. When I was first asked by a journalist what I thought of herd immunity as an exit strategy for the pandemic, way back in April, I laughed nervously and said “No one is actually suggesting that are they? It’s absurd”.

Reader, not only were people suggesting it then, they’ve continued to do so almost every day since.

“What are we going to do tonight?” “The same thing we do every night — spread nonsense about COVID-19!” *Maniacal laughter* Source: Pexels

So, let’s talk herd immunity, what it is and isn’t, and why it still isn’t a solution to COVID-19 no matter what has been reported.

Herd Immunity

I’ve written about herd — or population — immunity a number of times before, but very simply it is traditionally the idea that if enough people are immune to a disease, they will prevent the people who are not immune from getting the infection. Mathematically, we can use this idea to calculate a herd immunity threshold, which is the proportion of people who need to be infected in a population before a disease stops spreading…