Scientists: Covid herd immunity could happen at 50 percent or lower

by WorldTribune Staff, August 18, 2020

Herd immunity for coronavirus may be much closer than scientists had originally thought, a report noted.

Scientists say that herd immunity will be reached when a virus is unable to spread broadly because there are not enough vulnerable hosts.

The consensus has been that 70 percent of a population needed to be immune through either vaccination or survival to reach herd immunity. But several researchers claim that threshold could be 50 percent or lower, The New York Times reported on Monday.

“I’m quite prepared to believe that there are pockets in New York City and London which have substantial immunity,” said epidemiologist Bill Hanage of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Times reported. “What happens this winter will reflect that.”

Estimates for herd immunity reportedly decreased when real-word variations of demographics and density were added to the equation. Some researchers said herd immunity to coronavirus could be reached with as little as 10 to 20 percent infected, the Times reported.

Dr. Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health, told the Times that “herd immunity could vary from group to group, and subpopulation to subpopulation,” and even by postal codes.

The report noted:

For example, a neighborhood of older people may have little contact with others but succumb to the virus quickly when they encounter it, whereas teenagers may bequeath the virus to dozens of contacts and yet stay healthy themselves. The virus moves slowly in suburban and rural areas, where people live far apart, but zips through cities and households thick with people.

Mathematician Gabriela Gomes of the University of Strathclyde in Britain led a team of researchers which noted variations within a society in its model and found that Belgium, England, Portugal and Spain have herd immunity thresholds in the range of 10 to 20 percent.

“At least in countries we applied it to, we could never get any signal that herd immunity thresholds are higher,” Dr. Gomes said. “I think it’s good to have this horizon that it may be just a few more months of pandemic.”

Sick joke? Cuomo publishing covid ‘victory lap book’

New York has suffered more than 32,000 deaths from covid, roughly 20,000 more than any other state. It is second — in the world — only to New Jersey in deaths per capita from the virus.

Even though the facts and science say the response to covid by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was dreadful, the leftist media lionized the Democrat governor.

Cuomo even issued propaganda posters celebrating the response as “New York Tough” — he reportedly even autographed one brought to him by a fawning reporter at an official press conference.

Now, Cuomo is writing a memoir chronicling what he believes is his victorious response to the virus.

Washington Examiner columnist Tiana Lowe called it a “sick joke.”

“New York’s horrific death toll can be attributed to two specific decisions: Cuomo’s refusal to shut down the New York City subway system, which functioned as a petri dish of the pandemic and became a main vector of its spread, and his disastrous nursing home directive which forced facilities to readmit patients who tested positive for the virus, forcing the city’s most vulnerable to contract a disease that is disproportionately deadly for the elderly. To date, roughly a third of New York’s coronavirus deaths came from nursing homes,” Lowe noted.

“When faced with a crisis, Cuomo failed worse than every other governor within his own state and then let his residents unleash the coronavirus on the rest of the country, where the pandemic rages on. In any sane world, Cuomo would serve the rest of his term in silence and thank his lucky stars that his disgraceful tenure as the governor who presided over 10 times more deaths than 9/11 didn’t end with Miranda from Sex and the City successfully ousting him in 2018.”

Lowe noted that Cuomo, “in an even more bizarre speech” on the first night of the Democratic National Convention, “heinously called the coronavirus ‘just a metaphor,’ claiming it was ‘the symptom,’ not the actual disease, which is probably racism or President Trump or a functional economy.

“Simply put, Cuomo has lost his marbles.”

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