The outbreak of disease caused by the new coronavirus has raised questions about a phenomenon known as “herd immunity” and whether it might play a role in how the pandemic progresses.
What is herd immunity?
Will it affect the COVID-19 pandemic?
* By reducing the number of people that one person infects – with social distancing measures such as closing schools, working from home, avoiding large gatherings and frequent hand washing – the point at which herd immunity kicks in can be lowered.
“From an epidemiological point of view, the trick is to reduce the number of people we are in contact with ... so that we can drive down the number of contacts we infect, and herd immunity starts earlier,” said Baylis.
The “sweet spot” he added, is when one infected person infects, on average, one or less than one other person.