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Elemental
Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

Herd Immunity

In Elemental. More on Medium.

Throw out the tedious calculus. It’s not that complicated. The simple answer to the question on everyone’s mind:

Photo: Andrea Lightfoot/Unsplash

Herd immunity to Covid-19 is an enigma. It’s universally sought after regardless of party affiliation, religious creed, or level of vaccine acceptance. Think about it. Are you pro-herd immunity or anti-? Pro, of course! At the same time, it’s so poorly understood. How many people does it require? Is it permanent or temporary? Will it actually change anything? When can I take this frickin mask off?!?

NFL quarterback Cam Newton once said, “Hindsight is always 50–50.” I don’t bring that up to disparage Mr. Newton. In fact, he was quick to correct his mixed metaphor just seconds later. …


Colorful illustration of people outside in public.
Colorful illustration of people outside in public.
Illustration: Kieran Blakey

The Nuance

Going forward, hard-hit communities could enjoy a measure of immunity-derived protection

During the first months of the pandemic, so-called herd immunity was a hot topic of conversation among public-health officials, politicians, and the media. The term refers to the percentage of people within a population that must have immunity to a virus in order to effectively retard or block its spread.

Early on, most experts estimated that the herd immunity threshold for SARS-CoV-2 was somewhere north of 60%, meaning that 60% or more of the population would need to develop immunity — either via vaccine or infection — in order to snuff out the virus. …

Elemental

Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

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