health

What is herd immunity?

32 Comments
By Rodney E Rohde and Ryan McNamara

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The danger of trying to achieve herd immunity through infection is that many people will die or be forced to live with post-recovery disabilities.

This is exactly what I have repeatedly tried to get through to the antivaxxers that vaccination is the safest way! Till the day when 95+% are vaccinated there will not be any herd immunity and even then if a new variant emerges, everyone has to be vaccinated again for that variant! It's a cat and mouse game!

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Even the authors put condescending quotation marks around "herd immunity"

This may suprise you but not all quotation marks means the word is being used condescendingly, they can be used like here, to point out the term is being discussed.

They keep moving the goal posts.

Glad to see you understand the value of science, instead of fixed "truths" coming from some dubious religious authority science deals with reality, so when the situaiton in the real world changed (with a variant that spreads more easily) the scientific conclusions changed as well to include it.

This can be weird for some people that are used to reality to adapt according to what someone says it must be, but for science it is the opposite, what is being said is what has to adapt to what is actually happening.

and even then if a new variant emerges, everyone has to be vaccinated again for that variant! It's a cat and mouse game!

Not necessarily, if for example herd immunity was reached just before the delta variant appeared that would have still stopped it, the immunity is not as strong against delta but it still makes it less likely to be infected, to be symptomatic and to spread it, so there would not be any need for a new vaccination.

A new vaccine would only be necessary if the immunity is not even partially effective against the new variant.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Herd immunity can theoretically be achieved either through infection and recovery or by vaccination.

LOL. So up until November 2020, the entire history of our species has 'theoretically' flourished and expanded ... and the vast majority of that time, without vaccines?

June, 2020, WHO's official definition of herd immunity —

*... the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection.*

November, 2020, WHO's official definition of herd immunity —

*... a concept used for vaccination, in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached.*

Pretty easy to see that those cherry picked ''public health experts'' (and writers) know which side of their toast is buttered. Paid per word?

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

LOL. So up until November 2020, the entire history of our species has 'theoretically' flourished and expanded ... and the vast majority of that time, without vaccines?

And without antibiotics, nor actually useful surgeries, etc. etc. How does this prove that using all of these advances do not greatly reduce the deaths of people being affected?

It is clearly written in the article, herd immunity can be achieved by letting a lot of people die from the natural infection, or by vaccinating letting those people live.

Pretty easy to see that those cherry picked ''public health experts'' (and writers) know which side of their toast is buttered. Paid per word?

Except that again by "cherry picked" you mean the whole scientific and medical consensus that have no problem with a definition that makes more difficult for bad actors to try and mislead others? Immunity is still a well understood medical term that do not mean people become absolutely impervious to something (like an infection) but since people purposefully try to misrepresent the word as if medically had that meaning (so they can say COVID vaccines do not produce "immunity") it was changed to "protection", the original meaning is preserved and now people misusing the term to mislead others can't do it referencing an official source.

What is that you think is wrong with this?

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

So ... let me get this straight.

According to the new definition of 'herd immunity', since there is no vaccination for the common cold, as a species we are doomed to unspeakable suffering and extinction? What's next?

'Water — A molecular compound necessary for life, the safety and availability of which can only be guaranteed by Interagua.' — The Devil's Dictionary, Uupdated Edition, by 'official' sources only.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

According to the new definition of 'herd immunity', since there is no vaccination for the common cold, as a species we are doomed to unspeakable suffering and extinction? What's next?

Where does it say in the definition that it is impossible to get it from the natural infection? it is two lines long so it should not be difficult to find it. This specific definition was being abused to spread disinformation and now it became much more difficult to do it, but nowhere it says what you are concluding.

Mentioning the medical interventions that can be used for a purpose instead of the much less efficient natural ways is not new, nor unusual. in analgesia you can find examples of pain killers and "waiting until pain goes away" is not mentioned.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

LOL. So up until November 2020, the entire history of our species has 'theoretically' flourished and expanded ... and the vast majority of that time, without vaccines?

"The Black Death didn't happen" - extremely smart poster, Steve Martin.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Hard to reach herd immunity with vaccines that do little more than give you reduced symptoms for a few months.

Instead of the numerous daily articles on vaccines, I wish there was more focus on improving our health in relation to improving our ability to handle this infection.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Hard to reach herd immunity with vaccines that do little more than give you reduced symptoms for a few months.

Which is of course not true, they greatly reduce hospitalizations, complications and death, and also reduce the rates of infection, symptomatic disease and transmission. As demonstrated cientifically.

Also, guess what, vaccination do not interfere at all with increasing the health of the people in other ways, and by decreasing rapidly the impact of COVID they can even promote those other health goals.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Instead of the numerous daily articles on vaccines, I wish there was more focus on improving our health in relation to improving our ability to handle this infection.

You're gonna lose it when you find out what vaccines do.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

@Raw Beer: We are improving our ability to handle this infection. Not only do we have a choice of excellent vaccines, the UK (I suspect the first of many countries to do so) approved Mercks Antiviral, Molnupiravir this week for use in adults who become infected and have other risk factors. Sounds like progress to me.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

@theResident: yeah, that sounds like progress, but other places have long been using safe and effective treatments. But again, why do we have so many articles about vaccines or the new and expensive molnupiravir, rather than on the simple measures that everyone can follow to improve their overall health and their chances of handling this infection, whether vaccinated or not?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Which places are what effective treatment are you referring to? A small sample study in Uttar Pradesh using an anti-parasatic drug that has since been withdrawn? That wasn't an effective treatment, hence has been abandoned. So, There has yet to be a safe AND effective treatment used for Covid. The vaccines are our only protection from the worst ravages of the disease on the human body thus far. Now we have Molnupiravir.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

....and Raw Beer, if you CHOOSE not to get vaccinated then you run the risk, healthy or not, you run a far greater risk of your body having a Cytokine Storm and simply dropping dead. Fact.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

That's the thing, healthy people do not get a cytokine storm...

and if you choose to get the vaccine you run the risk of suffering severe adverse effects, even if you are healthy...

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

That's the thing, healthy people do not get a cytokine storm...

Since cytokine storms are a health problem that of course means people stop being healthy by having them, getting infected with COVID and developing the disease also by definition would mean people are not healthy at that point, which would make this a non-argument.

By not vaccinating you are increasing the odds of becomin not healthy by getting COVID, and all the complications that happens even to people that were healthy before the infection.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Raw Beer - Totally incorrect. Many younger,healthy people who contracted Covid and died developed a Cytokine Storm. You are SO wrong on this.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Since cytokine storms are a health problem that of course means people stop being healthy by having them,

No, you got it reversed, they have a cytokine storm because they are not healthy.

@Raw Beer - Totally incorrect. Many younger,healthy people who contracted Covid and died developed a Cytokine Storm. You are SO wrong on this.

Nah, Raw Beer is SO right. The healthy don't get the cyt. storm.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

No, you got it reversed, they have a cytokine storm because they are not healthy.

Prove it, your personal beliefs are not facts, how about a medical institution that support this completely mistaken point of view?

none? there is a very good reason for that.

Nah, Raw Beer is SO right. The healthy don't get the cyt. storm.

But people that were completely healthy until they got COVID do, even if you want to imagine otherwise.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

LOL. So up until November 2020, the entire history of our species has 'theoretically' flourished and expanded ... and the vast majority of that time, without vaccines?

oh you forgot to mention

430 B.C.: Athens pandemic

165 A.D.: Antonine Plague

250 A.D.: Cyprian Plague

541 A.D.: Justinian Plague

11th Century: Leprosy

1350: The Black Death

1492: The Columbian Exchange

1665: The Great Plague of London

1817: First Cholera Pandemic

1875: Fiji Measles Pandemic

1889: Russian Flu

1918: Spanish Flu

1957: Asian flu

1981: HIV/AIDS

2003: SARS

2019: COVID-19

well over 200million deaths

why do you think since the Spanish Flu that deaths have been dramatically reduced even with the worlds population far higher than prior pandemics.... dah vaccines!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

and if you choose to get the vaccine you run the risk of suffering severe adverse effects, even if you are healthy

the adverse effection your are mentioning are very limited in the over 5 billion vaccines administered worldwide.

you know a severe adverse effect of getting covid unvaccinated, compared to being vaccinated which is about 11 times reduced......DEATH

A fact backed with medical evidence from multiple research institutes worldwide,

Now we await the pseudoscience reply's of the antivaxxers

4 ( +4 / -0 )

and if you choose to get the vaccine you run the risk of suffering severe adverse effects, even if you are healthy...

It still amazes me how people who will happily wear seatbelts, helmets, suncream, wooly hats and other such basic protective items have suddenly lose their ability to judge risk within the last 18 months.

Like this fellow, who has been assuring us that proven vaccines are about to render us all drooling vegetables, has been proven wrong at every step.

But I'm sure he thinks he will be proven right in 5 years. And after that another 5 years, ad infinitum.

It's quite simple math; The 'risk of suffering severe adverse effects' from the vaccine are far, far less than the 'risk of suffering sever adverse effects' from contracting the virus, even if you are 'healthy' Those odds will do for me.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It still amazes me how people who will happily wear seatbelts, helmets, suncream, wooly hats and other such basic protective items have suddenly lose their ability to judge risk within the last 18 months.

Totally flawed analogy. Wearing a safety device is in no way comparable to injecting your body with an experimental gene therapy substance.

Like this fellow, who has been assuring us that proven vaccines are about to render us all drooling vegetables, has been proven wrong at every step.

Proven vaccines? Pu-lease. These vaccines have not been tested on humans long term, and the amount of censorship going on all but ensures that we won't be hearing about any negative effects in the media anyway.

This isn't a "science" issue, it's a political one.

The 'risk of suffering severe adverse effects' from the vaccine are far, far less than the 'risk of suffering sever adverse effects' from contracting the virus, even if you are 'healthy' Those odds will do for me.

You don't "know" this to be true whatsoever. You have "faith" that it's true. It reminds me a fundamentalist religious adherent quoting scripture with absolute certainty.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

well over 200million deaths

why do you think since the Spanish Flu that deaths have been dramatically reduced even with the worlds population far higher than prior pandemics.... dah vaccines

Lol, as if Covid fits in on the list with "bubonic plague". The Black Death was an actual pandemic. It wiped out 1/3 to a half of the population of Europe. There were so many dead bodies they had to hire people to walk around with carts each day shouting out "bring out your dead". Nearly everyone lost around half the people they knew. Contaminated homes had a cross painted over their doors, and people were locked inside, most of the died.

I don't know a single person in my life who's died of Covid. The statistics clearly show that nearly all deaths are people with preexisting conditions or very old people (who die from the flu in large numbers anyway). Most of the Covid deaths aren't reliable anyway, since anyone who died "with" the virus (as opposed to "from" the virus) is counted.

tl;dr - this isn't a true "pandemic" by any reasonable criteria. It's just complete and utter ridiculous hysteria drummed up by the corporate media - owned by the same people who own the Big Pharma raking in billions selling their gene therapy shots.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

It still amazes me how people who will happily wear seatbelts, helmets, suncream, wooly hats and other such basic protective items have suddenly lose their ability to judge risk within the last 18 months. 

Like this fellow, who has been assuring us that proven vaccines are about to render us all drooling vegetables, has been proven wrong at every step. 

But I'm sure he thinks he will be proven right in 5 years. And after that another 5 years, ad infinitum. 

It's quite simple math; The 'risk of suffering severe adverse effects' from the vaccine are far, far less than the 'risk of suffering sever adverse effects' from contracting the virus, even if you are 'healthy' Those odds will do for me.

Ok, but why do I have to take the vaccine if I don't want to if I already had COVID, I wouldn't need the shot and the shot is NOT for everyone.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The Black Death was an **actual pandemic.**

what about the Spanish flu that killed over 50million doesnt that count?

Ok, but why do I have to take the vaccine if I don't want to if I already had COVID,

just because you may have had covid doesn't mean you cant catch it again, ask anybody if theyve had the flu more than once, catching the flu once doesnt make you lifetime immune, flu being 10 times more fatal than covid. Flu vaccine is a yearly shot

3 ( +4 / -1 )

You don't "know" this to be true whatsoever. You have "faith" that it's true. It reminds me a fundamentalist religious adherent quoting scripture with absolute certainty.

nothing to do with faith everything to do with science, multiple research institutes in multiple different countries all have very similar findings and statistics, they all cant be wrong.

Now if your looking for faith and scripture concerning pandemics then thatll be under the pseudoscience genre in the library.

so once again if the antivaxxer have peer reviewed scientific evidence that the vaccines are ineffective, please show us where their findings have been published

2 ( +4 / -2 )

just because you may have had covid doesn't mean you cant catch it again, ask anybody if theyve had the flu more than once, catching the flu once doesnt make you lifetime immune, flu being 10 times more fatal than covid. Flu vaccine is a yearly shot

further to this, it has recently been confirmed that natural immunity is less likely to keep you out of hospital if you are reinfected than the vaccines are if you do get infected.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

just because you may have had covid doesn't mean you cant catch it again, ask anybody if theyve had the flu more than once, catching the flu once doesnt make you lifetime immune, flu being 10 times more fatal than covid. Flu vaccine is a yearly shot

Ok, but I don’t want to take it or I have a medical condition or an allergic reaction. The vaccine is not for everyone.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

so once again if the antivaxxer have peer reviewed scientific evidence that the vaccines are ineffective, please show us where their findings have been published.

Weak argument. I’m allergic to Penicillin, it could kill me and back in the day everyone took it, but my doctor told my parents it’s dangerous for me. Again, when it comes to vaccines, never ever listen to anyone other than your healthcare physician.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It's quite simple math; The 'risk of suffering severe adverse effects' from the vaccine are far, far less than the 'risk of suffering sever adverse effects' from contracting the virus, even if you are 'healthy' Those odds will do for me.

That second vax dragged me out for a day but after that I was alright.

Even tho the death rate from CoVid-19 isn't high there are risk groups and people I know who got it and survived have all said it's the worst feeling ever'. They will also tell you to take precautions and protect yourself and get the vax. I'm not playing roulette with my life and I don't want to be a carriier either.

bass4funkToday  05:39 am JST

so once again if the antivaxxer have peer reviewed scientific evidence that the vaccines are ineffective, please show us where their findings have been published.

Weak argument. I’m allergic to Penicillin, it could kill me and back in the day everyone took it, but my doctor told my parents it’s dangerous for me. Again, when it comes to vaccines, never ever listen to anyone other than your healthcare physician.

You're correct. They are the specialists, they study for years for this job and they have the degrees and licenses for it. Not me, not you, not some politician, not some lippy zero on the radio who never worked a day in his life.

John DelaneyNov. 5  11:24 pm JST

well over 200million deaths

why do you think since the Spanish Flu that deaths have been dramatically reduced even with the worlds population far higher than prior pandemics.... dah vaccines

Lol, as if Covid fits in on the list with "bubonic plague". The Black Death was an actual pandemic. It wiped out 1/3 to a half of the population of Europe. There were so many dead bodies they had to hire people to walk around with carts each day shouting out "bring out your dead". Nearly everyone lost around half the people they knew. Contaminated homes had a cross painted over their doors, and people were locked inside, most of the died.

In those days medicine was very primitive, nowhere as good or advanced as it is now. And people back then believed in witches and witchcraft too. That says a lot.

I don't know a single person in my life who's died of Covid. The statistics clearly show that nearly all deaths are people with preexisting conditions or very old people (who die from the flu in large numbers anyway).

My own uncle passed away from CoVid last Christmas season. And we've had other flus before that hit the world making many people sick - Hong Kong flu of 1968, Russian flu of 1975 (I had that), swine flu of 1976, Norovirus and others. Usually every year a vaccine is made in time so it can be contained. CoVid got out of hand before the doctors found a vaccine for it. And in the meantime, particularly the worst case being the US, many people died because of misinformation, denials, lies, strife, unrest, incitement to violence and the ego of an Antichrist pretending to be a POTUS. Now we have a vaccine (and the US has a real POTUS again) but the pandemic (it's spanned the globe, folks) isn't over yet and we have to use our heads.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

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