WASHINGTON – Dr Anthony Fauci criticizes a statement by a group of scientists supporting the concept of “herd immunity,” which the White House is using to bolster efforts to reopen schools and businesses amid the new pandemic of coronavirus.
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Fauci says supporting herd immunity – the idea that a disease will stop spreading once almost everyone gets it – is “total nonsense.”
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America’s leading infectious disease expert says, “If you talk to someone who has experience in epidemiology and infectious disease, they’ll tell you it’s risky and you’ll end up with a lot more infections from vulnerable people, which will result in hospitalizations and deaths, ”he told ABC’s“ Good Morning America ”Thursday.
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“So I think we just have to look that square in the eye and say it’s absurd. “
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On Monday, the head of the World Health Organization also warned against the idea that herd immunity could be a realistic strategy to stop the coronavirus pandemic, dismissing the proposals as “simply unethical “.
Coronavirus: WHO calls pandemic response to collective immunity “unethical”
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said health officials generally aim to achieve herd immunity through vaccination. Tedros noted that in order to gain herd immunity against a highly infectious disease such as measles, for example, around 95% of the population had to be vaccinated.
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“Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it,” he said. Some researchers have argued that allowing COVID-19 to spread in populations that are not clearly vulnerable will help build herd immunity and is a more realistic way to stop the pandemic, instead of the restrictive lockdowns that are occurring. have proven to be economically devastating.
“Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy to respond to an epidemic,” Tedros said.
Tedros said too little is known about COVID-19 immunity to know whether herd immunity is even achievable.
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