Experts in the US now believes they will not be able to reach herd immunity in the US that everyone looking forward to going back to normalcy. In an article published by The New York Times, experts argue that many factors are chewing away at the dream of achieving herd immunity, including persistent vaccine hesitancy, individual city or community immunity and the spread of COVID-19 variants. The virus is here to stay but vaccinating the most vulnerable may be enough to restore normalcy.
According to WHO ‘Herd immunity’, also known as ‘population immunity’, is the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection. As of now there isn’t a proven or expert backed exact number or a percentage figure to reach herd immunity, current prediction is a population needs to reach 60% to 80% fully vaccinated. Anthony Fauci, Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases explained to the Times, the focus shouldn’t be on herd immunity in the “classic sense,” but rather on continuing to vaccinate to keep COVID-19 numbers down.
In the Maldives vaccination against COVID-19 roll out on 1st February and more than 56% of the population has received first dose and more than 20% of the population is fully vaccinated from the latest figures published by Maldives’ Health Protection Agency on 3rd of May 2021.
Current Covid-19 infectious rate is one of the highest in the world due to lack of governments inaction and not taking actions on time based on experts advise. Maldives recorded 585 new cases in yesterday alone for whole country with Greater Male’ area recording 397 cases. So far with 74 deaths for whole country, experts believe this raise in infectious rate will increase the death rate as well. As of yesterday Maldivian government has announce measures to try and slow the spread of the current wave which has hit the Maldives.
Although experts, and world leaders are uncertain about the role of herd immunity, the goal to return to normalcy and, most importantly, reduce harm, remains the top priority in the fight against COVID-19.
“The virus is unlikely to go away,” Rustom Antia, an evolutionary biologist at Emory University in Atlanta told the Times. “But we want to do all we can to check that it’s likely to become a mild infection.”