COVID-19: Herd immunity approach is 'fallacy', scientists bat for lockdowns

President Trump speaks from the South Portico of the White House in Washington D.C. during a rally

President Trump speaks from the South Portico of the White House in Washington D.C. during a rally

A group of 80 scientists from across the globe signed a letter warning the world about the risks surrounding a herd immunity approach to overcoming the coronavirus pandemic, stating it's "a unsafe fallacy unsupported by scientific evidence".

The Lancet letter, called the "John Snow Memorandum", notes countries that mounted a robust public health response to the virus, including Japan, Vietnam and New Zealand, effectively controlled transmission.

The authors explained that there is no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 after natural infection, and warn that this waning immunity as a result of natural infection would not end the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the declaration, which was discussed with reporters on a call with two top White House officials on Monday, only "vulnerable" people should actively protect themselves from COVID-19.

In a call with reporters featuring two senior officials, the White House said it supports an October 4 petition called The Great Barrington Declaration that argues authorities should allow the virus to spread freely among young, healthy Americans while protecting older and vulnerable people.

This could place vulnerable populations at risk for the indefinite future, as natural infection-based herd immunity strategies would result in recurrent epidemics, as seen with many infectious diseases before mass vaccination.

Regardless of the declaration suggesting that mortality and social hurt needs to be minimized till herd immunity is reached, one of many co-authors, Dr. Martin Kulldorff, beforehand advised KYR information by way of electronic mail, that they "usually are not advocating a "herd immunity technique".

Herd immunity would involve allowing COVID-19 to spread, which in theory would eventually make people immune.

Vaccine cooperation could boost global income $9 trillion by 2025
Even as China has rebounded much faster than many expected, India, another populous country in Asia, is enduring difficulties. The IMF now expects the world economy to grow by 5.2% next year, a -0.2 percentage points downgrade from June's forecast.

The letter comes after numerous United States media this week reported that senior Trump administration officials had voiced support for an online declaration advocating herd immunity which gathered more than 9,000 signatories worldwide.

The petition's co-authors embody Dr. Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medication at Harvard College, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, a professor at Oxford College, and an epidemiologist with experience in immunology, vaccine improvement, and mathematical modeling of infectious ailments and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor at Stanford College Medical College. "Many infectious diseases never reach herd immunity, like measles and malaria and AIDS and flu", said Hancock.

Proponents of allowing the new coronavirus to circulate among populations in the hope of achieving herd immunity are promoting a "dangerous fallacy" devoid of scientific proof, dozens of health experts said today. This lack of data builds upon another unknown: how often people can get reinfected by the disease, which has already been reported in a handful of cases.

So far, Covid-19 has killed more than a million people across the globe.

The authors of the letter state: 'It is critical to act decisively and urgently.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said herd immunity is "very unsafe".

A day before the town of Great Barrington took pains to distance itself from the declaration, a coalition of 17 public health organizations also condemned the scientists' proposal in a joint statement. "Allowing a unsafe virus that we don't fully understand to run free is simply unethical".

Instead, he recommends contact tracing, isolation of infected individuals, physical distancing, continued testing and simple hygiene like hand washing as a way to combat the virus.

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