• Fri. Jan 28th, 2022

Covid vaccine and herd immunity, what experts say

Byeditorial

May 29, 2021

Covid vaccine and herd immunity, experts have different positions on the issue. “If we continue like this, in September we will have herd immunity,” said Undersecretary of Health, Andrea Costa, in an interview with ‘Corriere della Sera’. “I look at the numbers – he stressed – In June 20 million doses will arrive, today we are advancing at the rate of 500 thousand doses per day, but soon thanks to this concentration of vaccines we will be able to reach 700 thousand. Twelve million Italians are already vaccinated, that is over 15% of the population, which in proportion means better than France and Germany. At the end of June there will be just under 20 million vaccinated. And not only that. Now we are at 33 million doses administered, at the end of July we will cross the finish line of the 70 million. So, in August, we will be able to start taking off our masks outdoors. And in September here is immunity “. But for Maria Rita Gismondo, microbiologist at the Sacco hospital in Milan, “one cannot speak of herd immunity with the current” anti-Covid vaccines, which “prevent the severity of the disease, but do not block the circulation of the virus, even if they attenuate and reduce it “. “The more we are vaccinated, the less viruses will circulate and the less chance they will have of mutating. But Sars-CoV-2 will continue to circulate”, underlines the expert at Adnkronos Health. “I don’t think we will ever achieve the goal of eliminating this coronavirus, which will remain circulating among us, albeit in an almost harmless way”, highlights the director of the Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology, Virology and Diagnostics of the Sacco Bio-emergencies. “The goal – he reiterates – is not to make the frail sick and not to go to intensive care, and we can already achieve this with these vaccinations”. This is why “masks will probably soon no longer be necessary: ​​because the frail will be protected from the severity of the disease – points out Gismondo – but not because the virus will no longer circulate. It will continue to circulate, in a reduced form”. According to virologist Guido Silvestri, a professor at Emory University in Atlanta, it would be “dangerous” at the moment “to think that vaccines already work in giving herd immunity” against Covid-19, “when the percentages of vaccinated people are still relatively low. like the current ones “. This is “really the sticking point”. “This attitude – he warns on Facebook, in a post on what he calls” deniers “of the seasonality of the pandemic coronavirus – would lead to relaxing the vaccination campaign, when instead we must push everyone to vaccinate like crazy, from now until October, in Italy as in Europe and North America, taking full advantage of the summer truce – exhorts the Italian scientist in force in the US – to reach that quota, which many place around 70-80%, which will really allow to stop the spread of Sars-CoV- 2 “. While he believes that” herd immunity can be achieved by the summer “, the pediatrician Italo Farnetani, professor at the Free Ludes University of Malta, says he is optimistic that the goal indicated as being within reach can be achieved in hand for September also by the Undersecretary of Health, Andrea Costa. There are three key factors for the doctor. “The first – he tells Adnkronos Health – that a massive supply of vaccines is planned. Second point: the decisive element will be the possibility of carrying out the vaccine in many places, already in the workplace, but I have a lot of faith in the role. that the pharmacies will have, in order to have a widespread territorial distribution that will facilitate access “to the shield injection. “Therefore it is foreseeable that the exceptional figure reached by Commissioner Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, half a million doses per day, will be able to further increase, precisely with the addition of additional administrations in places other than the current ones”. Finally, the third factor: “Fortunately, hesitations and fears about vaccines have now been overcome. Indeed I would say that there is a great desire to vaccinate”, concludes the expert.

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