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Thursday, April 9, 2020

What is herd immunity and can it stop the coronavirus?

Pandemics stop when herd immunity is attained either by surviving the disease or via a vaccine. At least 60% of the population would need to be immune to stop the spread of coronavirus. In the US that translates to about 200 million people. Unchecked, herd immunity could be attained in about 30 days at the cost of about 2 million lives. Lockdowns and social distancing can stretch out this timeline to reduce the number of people who need to be hospitalized at the same time. This also buys us time to develop a vaccine to confer herd immunity to the remainder of the population not yet naturally immunized. A vaccine may take 18 months or so to develop. The goal is for enough of us who otherwise would die from COVID-19 infection to survive to receive the vaccine. With so many ranchers in the Brazos Valley, herd immunity is a concept that many who keep livestock understand. #shelterinplace #flattenthecurve
from Rajesh Harrykissoon, MD

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