"New study says the coronavirus pandemic could end sooner than we thought
Coronavirus herd immunity may be closer than we thought
, according to some scientists.
They have adapted their mathematical models to take into account real-life factors that impact the spread of the virus in a community.
Some told The New York Times that herd immunity could be achieved once 50% of a community is immune
to infection via exposure or vaccination — others believe the number could be significantly lower than that.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a recent interview he expects life to return to normal in late 2021,
and that a combination of public health measures and vaccines would be needed to control America’s COVID-19 epidemic. A few days earlier, Bill Gates said he expects developed nations to contain the illness by late 2021
as well, once vaccines are widely available.
A series of distinct studies, some of which have yet to be peer-reviewed, indicate that COVID-19 immunity is a lot better than we thought. Even in the absence of antibodies, which are almost undetectable in asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 survivors, the body does elicit a robust immune response that could deal with subsequent exposure to the virus.
While researchers can’t say how long the immunity lasts, there have been no cases of confirmed reinfection in the eight months since it all started
The New York Times reports that more than a dozen scientists say the threshold might really be around 50%, or maybe even less than that.
If that turns out to be accurate, then the pandemic might be easier to contain, especially once vaccines can be deployed widely. The estimates are based on “complicated statistical modeling of the pandemic” that take divergent approaches and offer “inconsistent estimates.” Therefore, herd immunity can’t yet be proven for any community. The Times explains that parts of New York, London, and Mumbai already have “substantial immunity” to the virus.
These scientists realized that the original 60%-70% calculation for herd immunity doesn’t take real-life events into account. That figure is said to have assumed that each community member has the same susceptibility to the virus, which isn’t the case.
Once these factors are accounted for in herd immunity studies, the herd immunity percentages fall. Some researchers say the figure could go as low as 10% to 20%, but those estimates come from a minority of researchers who talked to The Times.
If the first coronavirus wave infects the most susceptible people, immunity could be achieved even more efficiently than with a vaccination campaign, said Stockholm University mathematician Tom Britton. His model says that 43% is enough for herd immunity.
The average infection rate for New York is 21%,
Not all patients who recover from COVID-19 have high levels of neutralizing antibodies in their bloodstreams, and they might get false negatives in antibody surveys. This would directly impact herd immunity conclusions, but in a good way. The number of infected people in a community could be much higher than what researchers can prove with existing antibody tests.
On a related note, if COVID-19 herd immunity is reached at a lower percentage than initially believed, then even a vaccine that’s just 50% effective might be good enough for public use in the first immunization stages
. Dr. Anthony Fauci said he hopes vaccine efficacy will surpass 75%
while cautioning that we won’t know the figure until Phase 3 trials are complete."
Read in BGR: https://apple.news/AnE5GZQa7TP-nBXtirN2dFw
[I wonder if people can take multiple vaccines, and get higher immunity. They are generally different, and some have much different approaches.