Skip Navigation
Skip to contents

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health

OPEN ACCESS
SEARCH
Search

Search

Page Path
HOME > Search
1 "Endemic diseases"
Filter
Filter
Article category
Keywords
Publication year
Authors
COVID-19: Perspective
COVID-19 herd immunity in the absence of a vaccine: an irresponsible approach
Jade Khalife, Derrick VanGennep
Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021012.   Published online February 3, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2021012
  • 9,255 View
  • 358 Download
  • 5 Citations
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Abstract
As severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to spread rapidly throughout the human population, the concept of “herd immunity” has attracted the attention of both decision-makers and the general public. In the absence of a vaccine, this entails that a large proportion of the population will be infected to develop immunity that would limit the severity and/or extent of subsequent outbreaks. We argue that adopting such an approach should be avoided for several reasons. There are significant uncertainties about whether achieving herd immunity is possible. If possible, achieving herd immunity would impose a large burden on society. There are gaps in protection, making it difficult to shield the vulnerable. It would defeat the purpose of avoiding harm caused by the virus. Lastly, dozens of countries are showing that containment is possible.
Summary
Key Message
Pursuing herd immunity without a vaccine involves numerous uncertainties, is costly in terms of lives and disease, is ineffective, and - being unethical and uncompassionate - is not compatible with human dignity and development.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Analyzing natural herd immunity media discourse in the United Kingdom and the United States
    Marco Zenone, Jeremy Snyder, Alessandro Marcon, Timothy Caulfield, Veena Sriram
    PLOS Global Public Health.2022; 2(1): e0000078.     CrossRef
  • Evaluation of science advice during the COVID-19 pandemic in Sweden
    Nele Brusselaers, David Steadson, Kelly Bjorklund, Sofia Breland, Jens Stilhoff Sörensen, Andrew Ewing, Sigurd Bergmann, Gunnar Steineck
    Humanities and Social Sciences Communications.2022;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Is COVID-19 Herd Immunity Influenced by Population Densities of Cities?
    Yuval Arbel, Yifat Arbel, Amichai Kerner, Miryam Kerner
    Sustainability.2022; 14(16): 10286.     CrossRef
  • Effective strategies against COVID-19 and the importance of infection sequelae
    Jade Khalife
    Global Health Research and Policy.2022;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Herd immunity: challenges and the way forward in Korea
    Jiyoung Oh, Sohyun Kim, Boyeong Ryu, Minjoung Shin, Bryan Inho Kim
    Epidemiology and Health.2021; 43: e2021054.     CrossRef

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health