Our discussion of “Herd Immunity” must wait until after we get our first vaccine results!

I have previously commented extensively about “herd immunity” in COVID-19. PatP asked me to update my comments and discuss the implications of allowing the virus to circulate through the population. She has very cogent comments, but I am not going to respond at the present time for one reason.

Herd Immunity will be an entirely different concept based on the results of our current vaccine trials. If the vaccines work, we will be looking at how many people we have to vaccinate to achieve herd immunity. If the vaccines offer only partial protection, then we need to understand how we might use them as part of a larger program to achieve herd immunity to protect the population. If the vaccines don’t work at all, then herd immunity will mean something quite different and be difficult to achieve.

As soon as the first vaccine clinical trial results are back, I will be addressing the implications for protecting our “herd.”

Published by jbakerjrblog

Immunologist, former Army MD, former head of allergy and clinical immunology at University of Michigan, vaccine developer and opinionated guy.

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