Prepare For Defective Herd Immunity: It’s Coming

In my new report, The Tragedy of Missed Opportunities, I have examined the huge human costs and economic damage of COVID-19.

Before advanced economies began to flatten the epidemic curve, they fattened it for 6-8 weeks. This could prolong the global pandemic and cause secondary waves of imported infections and new virus clusters worldwide.

Defective herd immunity

Like the United States, most of Europe initially relied on voluntary measures until the accelerated virus spread forced stricter measures, but only belatedly. In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried to portray inadequate preparedness as a foresighted strategy: “We can turn the tide within the next 12 weeks.” 

At first, Johnson, who eventually contracted the virus himself, advocated “herd immunity” as a new strategy, relying on the advice of a group of epidemiologists. The idea was to keep virus transmission at low levels until a vaccine was available. A long lockdown was deemed impractical, due to the negative economic impact.  

One report from Oxford University even claimed that the UK had already achieved herd immunity. It presumed that more than half of the population had had the virus and recovered. So, there was no longer any need to trace the contacts of every suspected case. UK would only test people who were admitted to hospitals. 

To avoid a second peak in the winter, Sir Patrick Vallance, the U.K.’s chief scientific adviser, said the UK would suppress the virus “but not get rid of it completely.” While it could protect vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, herd immunity would reduce transmission in the event of a winter resurgence.In effect, Vallance thought “60 percent” of people would need to be infected for herd immunity.

In reality, herd immunity is neither a new idea nor a strategy. The idea first evolved in the 1920s. It was recognized as a recurring phenomenon when, after a significant number of children had become immune to measles, new infections temporarily decreased. As a result, mass vaccination to induce herd immunity became common. 

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Disclaimer: Dr. Dan Steinbock is an internationally recognized strategist of the multipolar world and the founder of Difference Group. He has served at the India, China and America Institute ...

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Moon Kil Woong 1 year ago Contributor's comment

The US and Europe have the biggest infections right now, so there is no need to worry about reinfection. For the US there is no strong national response so we will have to deal with states with no real regulations to contain the virus traveling unrestricted to other states. This will go on indefinitely if we keep handling this outbreak the way we are currently. Lifting the restrictions mean nothing given it does nothing to protect your safety. People in Washington don't get it. There is no return to normal unless people are reasonably assured that they can't get Covid or spread it by going out in public.

Paul McGee 1 year ago Member's comment

This is all true, but I'm not convinced herd immunity is even possible. The WHO said there's no evidence it is possible. We have hundreds of known cases of reinfection. And some say there are now as many 30 different strains of COVID-19. Immunity against one infection won't necessarily protect against other strains. A vaccine is still our best bet.

Susan Miller 1 year ago Member's comment

A vaccine will take years!

Barry Hochhauser 1 year ago Member's comment

While this may sound heartless, I think they should look for volunteers who have recovered from COVID-19 and deliberately try to reinfect them. If they survived once, they'll likely survive again. Pay them if you have to - chances are many are now unemployed and will be willing to take the risk. But this way we will at least KNOW if immunity is possible.

Susan Miller 1 year ago Member's comment

I read about at least one case where someone had recovered from COVID-19 and then became reinfected and died the second time around.

Barry Hochhauser 1 year ago Member's comment

There are what? Over 4.5 million people who have been infected so far, world wide? One case is not much of a risk. I'm not familiar with that one instance but perhaps he had a false positive or a false negative. We are operating with too many unknowns when it comes to #COVID19. We need more data and fast.

Moon Kil Woong 1 year ago Contributor's comment

I think the best now is to get drugs that stop over reaction from the body in the lungs. Canada developed a product that does just this and it has been approved in the US for AIDS patients. I think the US is holding it back to try to find something domestic and forcing them to do Phase 2 and 3 trials while the approved Trump's drug that kills more patients than not taking the drug. Anyway, EU and WHO should be all over it.

Moon Kil Woong 1 year ago Contributor's comment

Good points. Sadly the US is worse than Europe and there is no global leadership or plan thus this virus will keep hopping around the globe even if countries successfully keep it from hopping from neighbor to neighbor and neighborhood to neighborhood. No longer is reopening areas the issue. Even if they are reopened everyone knows they will be far from safe.

We will need to change how things are done and care about the health and well being of everyone in our neighborhoods and countries. It is sad that this is the way this fact becomes crystal clear to everyone. To not do so risks failure until there is a cure. In the meantime we should adopt drugs that can lessen the worse aspects of the disease without being worse than the disease.

Susan Miller 1 year ago Member's comment

This is a good point and something I hadn't thought of until contributor @[Joseph Cox](user:127658) discussed it at length in some of his posts.

Gary Anderson 1 year ago Contributor's comment

The herd that wants herd immunity is a dumb herd, a Boros Johnson/Donald Trump herd.

Barry Hochhauser 1 year ago Member's comment

How so? Herd immunity would be an ideal solution to this mess we're in. Unfortunately there are still too many unknowns... we don't even know that immunity is guaranteed when someone recovers from COVID-19.

Gary Anderson 1 year ago Contributor's comment

Barry, attempting herd immunity with a live virus and no protection is not recommended by medical people.

Barry Hochhauser 1 year ago Member's comment

Can you elaborate on what you mean Gary?

Gary Anderson 1 year ago Contributor's comment

Herd immunity is proving defective in Sweden. Cases are at a high rate there.