Geneva | The WHO ruled on Monday unthinkable to allow COVID-19 to circulate freely in society so that the population has access, as some have suggested, to collective immunity.
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“Never in the history of public health has collective immunity been used as a strategy to respond to an epidemic, let alone a pandemic. It is scientifically and ethically problematic, ”declared WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference.
“It is simply unethical to unleash a dangerous virus, which we do not understand everything about. This is not an option, ”he insisted.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than a million lives worldwide since the WHO office in China reported the disease onset in late December.
“The vast majority of people in most countries are susceptible to this virus. Seroprevalence surveys suggest that in most countries, less than 10% of the population has been infected ”, detailed Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
He also explained that the world did not know enough about the immunity enjoyed by people who contracted COVID-19, pointing out that some individuals have been newly infected.
“Most people infected with the virus develop an immune response during the first few weeks, but we don’t know if this response is strong or long-lasting, or if it differs from person to person,” he said. he explains.
He underlined that the concept of collective immunity is used in vaccination campaigns and he recalled that for smallpox it is necessary that 95% of the population be vaccinated so that the remaining 5% are protected.
For polio this rate is 80%.