Could letting the SARS-CoV-2 virus spread through the population in the hope of building collective immunity that will end the pandemic represent a solution to COVID-19, much like the vaccine would?
According to Dr Gaston De Serres, this way of approaching the pandemic cannot work, for several reasons.
In an interview with Mario Dumont at LCN, Dr De Serres cited the example of the community of Manaus in Brazil where the virus has wreaked havoc.
“The epidemic has been explosive, 50 to 60% of the population has been affected by COVID. Obviously, this is not done without complications for the health system, and the level of mortality, ”explains Gaston De Serres.
“Before having 50-60% of the population immunized, there will have to be a lot of cases in the population! About 5 to 6 million people who will have to get the infection [au Québec]! “
Figures that seem unrealistic because of the disastrous consequences that such contagion would cause.
In Quebec, a Héma-Québec study indicated in the spring that about 3% of the population of Montreal and Laval had had the virus, and about 1.6% in the rest of the province.
The ratios indicate that collective immunity is far from being achieved in the province, with a heavy death toll of nearly 6,000 deaths.
“[L’immunité collective] that means a lot of sick … Someone who is young, his probability of being hospitalized, it is not great, but if there are hundreds of thousands of young people who have the disease, there obviously, it ended up returning to the hospital in abundance, ”he emphasizes.
In addition, the persistent symptoms of the disease lead the expert to believe that collective immunity would not be beneficial.
“People are very tired after having COVID, people have lost their sense of smell and have not recovered it. Will they never get it back? We do not know. If there are a certain number of individuals who lose their sense of smell for the rest of their lives, it is still not so commonplace, ”concludes Dr De Serres.