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WHO questions imminent herd immunity to coronavirus

Humanity will not soon be able to develop a herd immunity to the disease caused by a new type of coronavirus (COVID-19). Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme, said at a briefing, TASS reports.

He noted that WHO does not know how many people on Earth need to get sick in order we can talk about the presence of herd immunity.

«Most scientists think it’s somewhere between 60 and 80 percent. Others believe that this share may be less. Whatever that number is, we are not close to it,» the WHO spokesman said.

This virus will be burning our society for a long time before we reach the level of herd immunity.

Michael Ryan

At the same time, he stressed: in order to reach the level of 70 percent of cases to obtain herd immunity, the world had to allow the virus to spread quietly, which would lead to an irreparable healthcare situation. Therefore, the very idea that the goal may be to achieve herd immunity «is in some sense contrary to disease control.»