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Herd immunity is a science based response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The scientific community has not approved of herd immunity as a response to COVID-19 as it can only slow down transmission and not stop the spread.

The scientific community has not approved of herd immunity as a response to COVID-19 as it can only slow down transmission and not stop the spread.Herd immunity entails allowing the coronavirus to spread through most of the population to quickly build resistance to the virus, thus preventing the outbreak. President Trump’s top medical adviser Scott Atlas has reportedly urged the White House to adopt the Sweden model, which means there would be no lockdowns; all businesses will be open without any restrictions. However, health experts have noted that a herd immunity strategy could lead to several deaths as it takes more than 65 percent of the population to be infected to achieve the goal. Meanwhile, the White House has said there is no change in its approach toward combating the pandemic, and the herd immunity is not the official strategy of the Trump administration.

The president has made public comments that advocate herd mentality by asking the states to reopen all the schools and businesses while the elderly can be sheltered at home. According to the reports published by the New York Times and Washington Post, anonymous white house officials have said that allowing natural infections was the most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity.

However, scientists and experts have disagreed with the idea of herd immunity as there is very little evidence on herd immunity as far as COVID-19 is concerned. This approach will also lead to atleast 50 to 60 per cent of the population getting infected that may take the death toll to over a million. Also, the time duration to achieve full herd immunity against COVID-19 cannot be estimated given the current details available on the virus. This approach can only slow down the spread of the virus and cannot prevent its spread altogether. Very little is known about mutation rate of the COVID-19 virus.

Furthermore, some countries have reported cases of reinfection of COVID-19 in previously recovered patients. It is unclear whether reinfection is a rare phenomena or not. Taking many such factors into account, scientist do not support the herd immunity response to COVID-19 as the research data available on the virus is inconclusive.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.

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