COVID-19 Herd Immunity Not An Option In A Country Like India, Says Centre

  • | Thursday | 30th July, 2020

India cannot count on herd immunity to stop the coronavirus pandemic given its demography and scale, the Health Ministry said on Thursday, adding that the country will have to rely on a vaccine to fully beat COVID-19. "Herd immunity is an indirect protection from a disease. This saves a population from a disease. But it develops when a vaccine is developed or when a population has already suffered and recovered from it. Herd immunity in India is not an option. It can only happen after a vaccine has been developed," a Health Ministry official said at a news conference.

New Delhi: India cannot count on herd immunity to stop the coronavirus pandemic given its demography and scale, the Health Ministry said on Thursday, adding that the country will have to rely on a vaccine to fully beat COVID-19. "Herd immunity is an indirect protection from a disease. This saves a population from a disease. But it develops when a vaccine is developed or when a population has already suffered and recovered from it. Herd immunity in India is not an option. It can only happen after a vaccine has been developed," a Health Ministry official said at a news conference.

Herd immunity refers to the situation when the spread of a disease is stopped naturally when enough of the population becomes resistant to the virus and not enough people are able to transmit it. India crossed 15 lakh coronavirus cases this week and continues to have the fastest rate of growth in infections among the five worst-hit countries.At 3.6 per cent, India`s rate of increase in cases is double than the US and significantly higher than Brazil`s 2.3 per cent - the only two countries with a higher caseload.

For months, the government has highlighted India`s recovery rate but for a disease with a less than 4 per cent fatality rate worldwide, the recovery rate is not the best metric to measure the effect of the pandemic, experts have said.



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