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COVID-19 and Herd Immunity Theory

The sudden pandemic of COVID-19 has taken the world rapidly and changed it completely. Nevertheless, there is still hope that after implementing several measures, it would be possible to reduce the spread of this disease. There is a theory that the pandemic will end only when a significant proportion of the population gets sick and acquires immunity, which is called herd immunity. After that, the number of people who are vulnerable to COVID-19 will decrease to the point where the virus no longer has enough targets. Researchers suggest that, hypothetically, if “80% of a population is immune to a virus, four out of every five people who encounter someone with the disease will not get sick” (Iftikhar, 2020, para. 3). As in cases with other illnesses, including flu and smallpox, it can only be obtained through vaccination, which is not yet available nowadays, although it is being worked on.

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For this reason, many people assume that getting infected with coronavirus can help them to gain immunity. This idea is not yet supported by any evidence; moreover, it is potentially dangerous. There is not enough scientific proof that all people who experienced the disease will receive immunity and will not be able to become infected again. It is possible that after a short period of time, they will become susceptible to the virus again, and will suffer more complications. Therefore, scientists cannot be sure that herd immunity will be created in the first place. COVID-19 is also dangerous, deadly, and spreads at a rapid pace, which makes hospitals overcrowded and stresses out doctors. Therefore, in order to lift the burden from the medical staff, it is more beneficial to reduce the number of infections (D’Souza & Dowdy, 2020). It would be more helpful to continue practicing social distancing before an effective vaccine is created.


D’Souza, G., & Dowdy, D. (2020) What is herd immunity and how can we achieve it with COVID-19? Web.

Iftikhar, N S. (2020) What is herd immunity and could it help prevent COVID-19? Healthline.Web.

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