Khalife J, VanGennep D
Epidemiol Health - (-) e2021012 [2021-02-03; online 2021-02-03]
With SARS-CoV-2 continuing to spread rapidly throughout the human population, the concept of 'herd immunity' has been attracting the attention of both decision makers and the general public. In the absence of a vaccine, this entails that a large proportion of the population be infected to develop immunity that would limit the severity and/or extent of subsequent outbreaks. We argue that adopting such an approach should be avoided for several reasons: There are significant uncertainties about whether achieving herd immunity is possible. If possible, achieving herd immunity would impose a large burden on society. There are gaps in protection, making it difficult to shield the vulnerable. It would defeat the purpose of avoiding harm caused by the virus. Lastly, dozens of countries are showing that containment is possible.