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The Unachievable Goal of Herd Immunity for SARS-CoV-2

Recent findings of a SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence study conducted in COVID-19 hotspots shows real trouble with relying on herd immunity to help mitigate the pandemic. Put simply, far too many people would have to become sick and die before herd immunity could be achieved and, given that we don’t even know if antibodies will effectively protect those who have been infected, we may never get to herd immunity.

“In light of these findings, any proposed approach to achieve herd immunity through natural infection is not only highly unethical, but also unachievable. With a large majority of the population being infection naive, virus circulation can quickly return to early pandemic dimensions in a second wave once measures are lifted. “ The Lancet, July 6, 2020.

https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736(20)31482-3.pdf