News   /   Society

Experts slam 'dangerous fallacy' of coronavirus herd immunity

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump throws masks as he arrives to hold a Make America Great Again rally as he campaigns at John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, October 13, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Proponents of allowing the new coronavirus to circulate among populations in the hope of achieving herd immunity are promoting a "dangerous fallacy" devoid of scientific proof, dozens of health experts say.

In an open letter published in The Lancet medical journal, more than 80 specialists from universities across the world said that the only effective way of limiting excess deaths during the pandemic was to control the disease's spread.

The letter comes after numerous US media this week reported that senior Donald Trump administration officials had voiced support for an online declaration advocating herd immunity which gathered more than 9,000 signatories worldwide.

As a second CO-19 wave batters Europe, several countries have reintroduced controls on movement and implemented regionalized lockdowns. 

The authors of Thursday's letter said that the social and economic impacts of confinement had led to "widespread demoralization and diminishing trust" in government measures to get a handle on the virus. 

The second wave has also led to a renewed interest in so-called herd immunity, which suggests allowing a large uncontrolled outbreak among people considered to be at low risk of death or serious illness from the virus. 

The health experts listed numerous flaws in the concept. 

Firstly, "uncontrolled transmission in younger people risks significant morbidity and mortality across the whole population," the letter said. 

This would have a catastrophic human and financial cost, besides overwhelming healthcare systems. 

The authors also noted that it is possible to become reinfected with COVID-19. 

Herd immunity offers no guarantee that those who caught the virus would remain immune to it for any meaningful length of time. 

This would present a risk to vulnerable populations for "the indefinite future", the authors said. 

(Source: AFP) 

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku