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Faye Flam: Herd immunity or social distancing? A combination, actually

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When you listen carefully enough and long enough to a variety of epidemiologists, you can start to see that their pandemic strategies are converging — or at least complementary.This might seem surprising after the angry flap over the Great Barrington Declaration, which pushed a herd immunity strategy. A group more representative of the mainstream scientific community then presented a scathing response they called the John Snow Memorandum. What if these two approaches have more in common than it might appear?
The essence of the herd immunity strategy is to take advantage of the observation that COVID-19 is a thousand times deadlier in people over 60 than in people under 30. In principle, if you could find a way to protect all those older people, then encouraging younger ones to go on with life could lead to so-called herd immunity — a state in which enough people are immune to hold the disease in check.
Opponents equate herd immunity with running millions of people off a cliff. But there’s a reason it’s caught on with some members of the public. It is, at long last, a strategy. That puts it far ahead of the Trump administration’s non-strategy of doing almost nothing …

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Without vaccine, don’t try herd immunity plan: WHO scientist | Pune News – Times of India

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Pune: World Health Organisation chief scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan has said countries should not consider the herd immunity option without a vaccine. Some governments have considered proposals to let the new virus run its course in their populations — in hopes of creating large pools of immune people that can break the chain of transmission.But Dr Swaminathan warned that such a course of action, without a vaccine, would lead to scores of deaths. She said, “We think at least 60% to 70% of the population needs to have immunity to truly break the transmission chain. If you allow this to happen naturally, it will take a long time. But there will be collateral damage. So even if .5% to 1% of infected people are ultimately going to die then this adds up to a huge number of people when we consider the global population.”This is why she said the World Health Organisation has warned against trying to achieve herd immunity by just letting the virus run wild. “But with a vaccine, one can achieve population immunity, or herd immunity, safely. There has never been any infectious disease for which immunity was achieved through natural infection,” she said. She used measles as an example …

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Opinion | Wrangling Over Herd Immunity and Masks as Covid Cases Keep Rising

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To the Editor:Re “The Steep Costs of ‘Herd Immunity,’” by John M. Barry (Op-Ed, Oct. 20):Having failed miserably at protecting Americans from becoming sick or dying of Covid-19, President Trump, attempting to seize victory from the jaws of defeat, now seems to want as many healthy Americans as possible to catch the virus. That way, those who are left alive will be immune and the pandemic will disappear — like magic, or hydroxychloroquine or Clorox! Herd immunity is the president’s latest pandemic panacea.Even if the warnings of expert scientists prevail, Mr. Trump has further encouraged a Covid-weary population, eager to breathe free, to stop wearing masks and keeping their distance. And while younger people sneeze and cough their way to presumed immunity, how might older people escape this potentially deadly infection?Mary-Lou WeismanWestport, Conn.To the Editor:John M. Barry makes a great case for what an unethical and untenable idea it is to pursue herd immunity for Covid-19. But he leaves out the implicit eugenics of the approach. Those who are constitutionally weaker, those who are minorities (who seem to have greater morbidity and mortality) and those who are lower in socioeconomic classes or in public service …

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Herd immunity not possible – and would lead to a new wave, Sage warns government

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View photosA nurse changes dressings for an elderly patient at her home (Picture: Getty)More Sage has warned the government herd immunity is not possible and trying to implement the strategy would lead to a new wave of coronavirus. The science advisory group said “segmenting” (totally isolating) vulnerable people while the virus spread among low-risk groups would not be viable.Sage argued if high levels of immunity could be achieved within the younger age group, it is almost certain a further epidemic wave in older people would happen once segmentation ended.In a document sent on 15 October, it added it would not be possible to prevent the virus spreading from younger people to older people and a very large proportion of the population would need to withdraw from daily life for many months, which would have a profound negative effect on them.Watch: Coronavirus in numbers: UK death toll rises by 224On Thursday scientists hit out at the government’s refusal to enforce shielding rules for the most vulnerable as COVID cases and deaths continued to rise.But Sage added it is not yet possible to determine how long immune responses last or how effectively they prevent reinfection so segmentation …

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Alan Chartock: COVID ‘herd immunity’ plan amounts to mass suicide

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Oh, brother! Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something even stranger comes along. This time, it was a bunch of self-congratulatory eggheads with a bunch of fancy initials after their names who call themselves libertarians and academics but smell like Trumpers. It just goes to show you that there are such things as educated idiots. I have a Ph.D., but I would rather rely on my mind than any of the various titles and honors that I have received thus far.This group of people gathered together and came up with a plan which was basically a truly dangerous version of “herd immunity.” Herd immunity, as we know it, can be obtained through vaccinations — if enough people are vaccinated against a disease, the community spread will slow and stop. But this crazy plan posits that we let everyone get COVID-19, and sooner or later, the ones who don’t die will confer immunity on the rest of the “herd.” Of course, respected scientists and doctors are aghast at the idea, as well they should be. The expert prediction is that if this kind of herd immunity becomes policy, millions of Americans will needlessly die.Naturally this …

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Strengthen your immune system against Covid with help of Vitamin D and pickles

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Winter is coming and a ­second wave of Covid-19 is already with us, so it has never been more important to strengthen your ­immunity. Along with hand-­washing, masks and social ­distancing, it’s the best defence we have against the coronavirus. A vaccine is still some way off and scientists warn that without one there is no hope of achieving the herd immunity needed to end the pandemic. Boosting your own immunity makes sense, and studies show there is lots you can do. A balanced diet is key, but there are certain nutrients that are particularly important – and scientists have been working hard to find the stars that can help in the Covid battle. Take these simple steps to strengthen your immune system and keep you well through the tough winter ahead: ULTIMATE D-FENCE

Vitamin D supplements can really help boost you
(Image: Getty)

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Vitamin D, which is essential for healthy bones and muscles, is often known as the sunshine vitamin – giving a big clue as to why we don’t get enough in winter. While it can be found in some foods, including oily fish, red meat and eggs, our …

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Hartzler’s claim isn’t close: We’re a long way away from herd immunity

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MISSOURI- In an 8-minute interview on 93.9 The Eagle last month, U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-4th District, spoke on the timetable of vaccine development and deployment with Operation Warp Speed before claiming, “We’re starting to reach almost herd immunity in this nation, so we’ll be on the downside of this virus very soon.”The claim touches on two topics: herd immunity and the timetable of the virus.Claims about herd immunity are not new. We’ve covered the subject extensively.Hartzler hit similar notes in an October interview with KMIZ/ABC, saying, “I feel like we will rebound fully just once we get … get this vaccine developed and we reach herd immunity, which could be fairly soon as well.”We’ve noted before that public health experts say herd immunity is a questionable strategy. Even so, we have a long way to go before we get to herd immunity. Here’s why.What is herd immunity?Essentially, herd immunity is a numbers game for infectious diseases. The more immune a population becomes, the less likely it becomes for an infected individual to come into contact with a non-immune person and continue the chain of transmission. Herd immunity …

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The dangerous calls for ‘herd immunity’ – NationofChange

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In the early Spring, with much of southern Europe already sheltering in place to slow the growing spread of the novel coronavirus, some politicians and commentators, almost exclusively on the political right, were already beginning to push the theory of ‘herd immunity’ as a possible solution to the growing crisis.

In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, before being hospitalized himself after becoming infected, seemed to advance this idea, saying at the time, “one of the theories is, that perhaps you could take it on the chin, take it all in one go and allow the disease, as it were, to move through the population.”

Soon after the U.K.’s prime minister said this, a series of large public events went forward in the country despite dire warnings from public health experts. As many expected, cases, hospitalizations and deaths shot up until a national lockdown was imposed on March 26th, which unfortunately was not soon enough to prevent the country from having the highest death toll in Europe, even after lowering the count.

The way the theory continues to be taken seriously by many in the western media, while most of Europe and North America are now facing …

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