Support for LAist comes from
True LA stories, powered by you
Stay Connected

Share This

News

Herd Immunity To Coronavirus May Be A Dead End, Experts Caution

5e80c53cb18a9b000a3f599d-eight.jpg
(NIAID-RML)
LAist relies on reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

Medical experts are urging caution against the idea of achieving "herd immunity" against the coronavirus — that's when so many people become immune to a disease it can't spread as rapidly, or at all.

Experts say we don't know enough about the role natural antibodies play in the human body's response to the virus and whether those defenses last long enough to permanently protect someone from becoming infected again.

Dr. Kimberley Shriner, an infectious disease specialist at Pasadena's Huntington Hospital, says some calculations estimate 60% to 70% of the population would need to be exposed to the virus.

"That's a pretty tall order. Right now, I think the general consensus is L.A. is running around maybe 11% — and that would be an awful lot of people being awfully sick, and many of them dying. So I think that's a very high price to pay to try to achieve natural herd immunity."

Experts also say herd immunity may be impossible without an effective — and widely adopted — vaccine.
Support for LAist comes from

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW ON AIRTALK:

Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter. To support our nonprofit public service journalism: Donate now.