Herd immunity is scientifically and ethically problematic – WHO

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The World Health Organization’s director-general said that the use of herd immunity as a strategy to respond to the novel coronavirus outbreak is “scientifically and ethically problematic”.

During the latest media briefing in Geneva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it.

Tedros said that never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to an outbreak, let alone a pandemic. It is scientifically and ethically problematic”, adding that not enough is known about immunity to COVID-19.

“Most people who are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 develop an immune response within the first few weeks, but we don’t know how strong or lasting that immune response is, or how it differs for different people. We have some clues, but we don’t have the complete picture,” he said.

He also noted examples of people being infected with COVID-19 and then catching it for a second time.

On Sunday, US President Donald Trump told Fox News Channel that he was no longer on medications for the coronavirus. “I beat this crazy, horrible China virus,” he said, adding “it seems like I’m immune.”

Twitter flagged the tweet by Trump for violating company’s rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to the COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Johnson and Johnson said it had temporarily paused its COVID-19 vaccine candidate clinical trials due to an unexplained illness in a study participant, delaying one of the highest profile efforts to contain the global pandemic.