Herd immunity as a way to fight COVID-19 is a hot topic these days -- but for all the wrong reasons. In an opinion column published in the Baltimore Sun, Dr. Katherine Seley-Radtke, and ACSH's Dr. Josh Bloom argue that it's dangerous and simply won't work.
The following is an excerpt printed with permission of The Baltimore Sun. The complete op-ed can be found here.
There has hardly been a shortage of bad ideas of how to manage the COVID-19 epidemic, but one now circulating — community immunity, also known as herd immunity — is arguably the worst. Not only would this “approach” cause millions of deaths worldwide, but it would also fail to provide immunity.
Although the idea of herd immunity has been circulating for a while, it came to a head recently when a group of doctors published what has been come to be known as the Great Barrington Declaration. The group suggested that the U.S. could rapidly achieve herd immunity by letting the COVID-19 virus spread uncontrolled among the young and healthy population while protecting the vulnerable. The widespread use of the term “herd immunity” reflects an ignorance about what the term really means.