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Not even herd immunity can fully protect us

A look at what might be behind the severe Covid-19 toll in much of Latin America, and possibly in India and South Africa.
Herd immunity could mean a more dangerous virus for some areas and population subgroups. Image: Leon Neal, Getty Images

The question of herd immunity – specifically whether some cities and regions are acquiring it sooner than expected and thus have higher than expected protection against Covid-19 – has been attracting more attention lately.

Even if this hypothesis is true, however, it still leaves the world with some truly significant challenges and mandates a continuing vigorous fight against the pandemic.

The evidence for herd immunity can be seen in Sweden, for example, where the case and death rate have plummeted, even though the Swedes still don’t wear masks or engage in extreme social distancing.

In London, bars, movie theatres and many other venues are open, yet the health situation appears to be stable, again with a low death rate.

Of course both Sweden and southeast England were hit hard by the coronavirus early on, so if they acquired herd immunity, it may be because they had a larger percentage of the population get infected and develop some form of protection.

Levels of exposure needed for herd immunity

Some researchers are suggesting that regions acquire at least partial herd immunity at 20% exposure, whereas earlier estimates had suggested up to 70% would be needed. If true, this could be very good news for the hardest hit areas.

But there are caveats. First, many herd immunity hypotheses invoke the idea of ‘superspreaders’ – that a relatively small number of people account for a disproportionate amount of the contagion.

Perhaps it is the bartenders, church choir singers and bus drivers who spread the virus to so many others early on in the pandemic.

Now that those groups have been exposed to a high degree and have acquired immunity, it might be much harder to distribute the virus.

That logic makes some sense except for one issue: namely that the identities of potential superspreaders can change over time. For instance, perhaps choir singers were superspreaders earlier in the winter, but with most choral singing shut down, maybe [airport] security guards are the new superspreaders. After all, air travel has been rising steadily. Or the onset of winter and colder weather might make waiters a new set of superspreaders, as more people dine inside.

In other words, herd immunity might be a temporary state of affairs.

The very economic and social changes brought by the virus may induce a rotation of potential superspreaders, thereby undoing some of the acquired protection.

Stronger regions vulnerable to ‘invasion’

A related issue is that the regions with herd immunity are vulnerable to ‘invasion’ from less protected parts of the country. Maybe hard-hit New York City does have partial herd immunity, but to the extent the city appears safe for months on end, outsiders are going to start to visit and live there, again undoing some of the current level of protection. Meanwhile, New Yorkers themselves will take more chances and be exposed to higher doses of the virus. Their current levels of immunity, while useful, will not make them invulnerable against all possible forms and degrees of exposure.

Once again, there is no guarantee of permanence when it comes to herd immunity.

Another problem is global in nature and could prove very severe indeed. One possible motivation for the herd immunity hypothesis is that a significant chunk of the population already had been exposed to related coronaviruses, thereby giving it partial immunity to Covid-19. In essence, that ‘reservoir’ of protected individuals has helped to slow or stop the spread of the virus sooner than might have been expected.

The catch

There is a catch, however. If true, that hypothesis means that the virus spreads all the more rapidly among groups with little or no protection. (Technically, if R = 2.5, but say 50% of the core population has protection, there is an R of something like 5 for the unprotected population, to get the aggregate R to 2.5.) So if some parts of the world enjoy less protection from cross-immunities, Covid-19 is likely to ravage them all the more – and very rapidly at that.

Again, this is all in the realm of the hypothetical. But that scenario might help explain the severe Covid-19 toll in much of Latin America, and possibly in India and South Africa. Herd immunity, as a general concept, could mean a more dangerous virus for some areas and population subgroups.

Continued monitoring of Sweden, southeast England and New York City will probably reveal whether the herd immunity hypothesis is true.

But no matter how that evidence turns out, this is no time to let down our guard.

© 2020 Bloomberg

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Not long ago people came out trunpeting about how Sweden got it wrong and their “disastrous” strategy of protecting only thr elderly and refusing to lockdown the country.
Now look.
And in recent,conclusive news experts also repory being surprised that Sweden’s economy will contract less than expected and so too Brazil. They suggest it might be because these countries had little economic restriction or only briefly.
The mind boggles…

If only we could do a Douglas Adams and put these experts and all their political enables on a spaceship snd send them off to go colonize Pluto or something very,very,very far away.

Really?

hindsight is a perfect science occupied by sheep. No wonder your mind boggles.

Funny, typical, you need gov ALWAYS to guide your thinking and acting safely?

Sweden never had a “lockdown” since their constitution did not allow for it.

Still, populated with reasonably rational people they did what most with some sense of precaution did, hid away.

Look at Malta, almost went to zero covids. Business opened up and the wave is bigger than first.

At least Sweden has an economy left and they don’t have to start anything. It was a very smart decision not to close or lockdown.

Besides, interesting how suddenly nobody gets flu or any other disease any more, everything is “identified as Covid”. Normally there would be millions of people getting flu, but this year, “abracadabra” nothing….just Covid.
It is becoming clear that there is an agenda of some sort behind the Covid, especially the lockdown.

The coronavirus event(not a pandemic) taught us a few things:

1. Sweden was correct. Sweden has the most effective and beneficial interaction between voters and politicians that causes the least harm to the economy, and therefore to citizens.

2. Hollywood causes brain-death. The movie “Contagion” scared all logical reasoning out of people and replaced it with a phobia, or irrational fear, of a relatively harmless micro-organism. Ignorant and naive people became medical experts all of a sudden. They decided to destroy the economic activity that puts the bread on their table because they have watched a movie.

3. The domination of socialism in most countries creates an environment where myopic and irrational people can easily motivate politicians to implement strategies that cause great harm to the economy that results in unemployment and a reduced living standard for the majority.

4. The system is rigged for destruction when the most ignorant and irrational individuals in the community have the power to determine government policy.

Whoa. Better lock down totally for ever. We can’t have 0.01% of our population dying from this plague. Best to panic now. And forever.
And the real agenda…..?

Nothing more than the ”third world paralysis” at play!

I’ve always been pro heard immunity.

The lockdown was designed to protect the “additional” deaths due to healthcare capacity.

So if 10k people would die even with the assistance of hospitals ,but we end up losing 12k people because 2k couldn’t get healthcare. Then the additional death la we are trying to prevent is 2k people.

So even if 1m people die worldwide , the lockdown probably saved only those that theoretically couldn’t get healthcare .

People take the deaths and compare it with the cost of lockdown , in SA that’s 500billion bail out divided by 10k deaths, so 50m per person.

How much additional deaths would we have had , I don’t know , maybe 1000, so actually that’s 500m per person.

You can’t put a price on human life , but if I could , it definitely wouldn’t be R500m!!!!!!!

The point is , Sweden has been criticized by main steam media (Including news24 and business insider). But if everyone followed their approach we would have been much better off from an economic perspective.

Loss of life is/was inevitable. People must make peace with that and move on. Once you cross that bridge , then you’ll release how absurdly insane this whole thing was.

Since it is well known that fatalities average well over 80 years of age along with co-morbidities it stands to reason that once this sector is gone there will be no more to be culled for quite a while.
Meanwhile the word is out that if Trump can take zinc and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and remain free from infection then anyone can and they are not able to infect others. The HCQ can be replaced with Quercetin or green tea for use as a prophylactic. The word has not reached most parts yet and the media seems to prefer to keep the lockdown hype going until the vaccine promoted by Bill Gates arrives.
In the UK they have run out of infected testers and are now using South Americans to do the job that laboratory animals should be doing. There is clealry a commercial angle to the ongoing desire for perpetuation.

Swiss Policy Research (SPR) is a research and information project on geopolitical propaganda in Swiss and international media. They publish the opinion of genuine experts. Here is the link to their advisory on the treatment for avoiding and fighting the covid-19 virus:
https://swprs.org/on-the-treatment-of-covid-19/
As for the issue of the value of antibody testing being unusable due to the short timeframe of retention, this is already widely understood by the medical profession not under the influence of big pharma, which is admittedly becoming less easy to find.

Until governments conduct broad, representative antibody tests, everybody is guessing how many people already had it. I am referring to proper lab tests for multiple antibodies from drawn blood, not the rapid test pin prick tests. So very high sensitivity, very high reliability.

Scary problem : the number of people with A, G, M antibodies that tested PCR Negative 6 weeks before.

Given screening before being allowed a PCR test, I figure the actual positive in SA is multiples of the official statistics.

It has been shown by real medical experts that it is the immune system that directs and controls the bodies defending against infection. There are no tests for the required efficacy of the immune system. Testing is a grand waste of resources. To save lives – all that has been needed is to identify the small percentage that were at risk (easily done) and to ensure they take the required prophylactics of zinc and quercetin or green tea.
Instead the WHO and their overeager idiotic followers have created the mass culling of the vulnerable. The economic impact of the insane lockdowns is now commencing and will inevitably be instrumental in vastly more deaths of innocent victims as this greatest peace-time blunder of governance in the history of humanity unfolds. The move away from meritocracy at the highest levels of authority is partially to blame for this mass myopia. Humanity is clearly being controlled by dangerous political idiots with far too much power and the cause is the manipulation of the politics by the global corporate megadons for the purpose of their increasing control of everything via financial gain and corruption. And they have been winning all the way and continue to do so.

Gargoyl:

There are very good lab blood tests to show levels of antibodies A, G, M and your T cells = efficacy of your immune system.

Please stop spreading voodoo nonsense about green tea (harmless) or medically proven ineffective and dangerous hydroxychloroquine (downright harmful story telling) helping against covid.

I had covid (PCR positive), my wife tested negative… we both have A, G, M antibodies (proper lab tests) and to top it off she also has neutralising antibodies. So her PCR test was definitely false negative. Neither of us had symptoms worth mentioning. There must be dozens of us that were never tested positive, but have antibodies. Why do I say that? We had no symptoms and only forced my test because we knew we were exposed.

This fearmongering news is getting so old ! I could not care less about anything being written about this “disease:. There is a LOT happening behind the scenes but people are too naive to realise it!

So Dlamini – Zuma extends the lockdown for a further month – just before Cyril the squirrel is due to make his announcements at 8.00 p.m.. Makes you wonder who is running the ANC and specifically the NEC. If Cyril doesn’t boot her out of government she will eat him alive and bring in all old corrupt cronies like withdrawing charges against JCZ and others.
Shame on this government

Project fear alive and well i see.

Keep up the brain washing and indoctrination. Make Karl proud.

CASES, CASES, CASES, CASES. This seems to be the SCARE tactics of the media! HOWEVER the death rate is .02% in South Africa BUT according to Stats S.A. The flu is 4.2%. So just in future, if your child has the flu, YOU DON’T SHUT DOWN THE COUNTRY, you keep them home.

End of comments.

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