WHO describes herd immunity strategy as “scientifically and ethically problematic” to fight the pandemic

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WHO describes herd immunity strategy as


The director of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Ghebreyesus has ruled out herd immunity as an adequate response to combat the coronavirus pandemic.


Ghebreyesus said that never in history has this strategy been used to stop an outbreak or pandemic.


© Provided by BBC News World
Ghebreyesus said that never in history has this strategy been used to stop an outbreak or pandemic.


It is called herd immunity when a large proportion of a population becomes immune to a disease either through vaccination or the massive spread of the disease.

And it is that some have argued that, while waiting for a vaccine, the coronavirus should be allowed to expand naturally.

But Ghebreyesus has called this strategy “scientifically and ethically problematic.”

In the world more than 37 million cases of coronavirus have been confirmed since the pandemic began. More than a million people have died.

Meanwhile, hundreds of vaccines are being developed and several clinical trials are in advanced stages, but so far none have received international approval.

“Never in history”

During a press conference on Monday, the WHO director admitted that the long-term effects of the pandemic, as well as the strength and duration of the immune response, remain unknown.


Several governments have suggested herd immunity as a strategy to curb the pandemic. For example, the United Kingdom during the first wave.


© Provided by BBC News World
Several governments have suggested herd immunity as a strategy to curb the pandemic. For example, the United Kingdom during the first wave.


“Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from the virus, not exposing them“said Ghebreyesus.

“In the history of public health, herd immunity has never been used as a strategy to combat an outbreak, nor a pandemic.”

The WHO added that seroprevalence studies – those that detect antibodies – suggest that 10% of the population has been exposed to the virus in most countries.

“Letting the coronavirus circulate without more means allowing more infections, suffering and unnecessary deaths,” he concluded.

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