The World Health Organization (WHO) has strongly denied that achieving a herd imunity would a viable option to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic , describing this option as “scientifically and ethically problematic”.
With the number of infections, hospitalisations and deaths rising across Europe and much of the rest of the world, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made a strong case against the idea of aiming for herd immunity without vaccinations.
“Herd immunity is a concept used for vaccination, in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached,” he told a press conference.
“In other words, herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it.
“Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to an outbreak, let alone a pandemic,” he added.
More than a million people have died worldwide since the WHO office in China reported the outbreak of the disease in late December.
Many countries are now steadily putting restrictions back into place as a second wave of the virus takes hold.