The Latest Science on Herd Immunity and Covid-19
Here’s what experts say
What is herd immunity?
As Tara Haelle reports for Elemental, “the basic concept of herd immunity is pretty straightforward: The more people in a population who are immune to a disease, the harder it is for that disease to spread through the community. For example, if none of the 1,000 residents in a small town were immune to measles and someone sick with measles visited, about 900 townspeople would likely end up with measles — the disease would rage through the town like wildfire.
But if 93% to 95% of the town were immune to measles, either because they had it as children or because they had been vaccinated, possibly no one would get sick. Even if some of the 50 to 70 nonimmune people had direct contact with the infectious visitor, the town wouldn’t see an outbreak: The high proportion of immune townspeople would protect most of those 50 to 70 vulnerable folks.”
How does herd immunity apply to the Covid-19 pandemic? Read the full story below.