Humanity will not soon develop collective immunity against the COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus. This was announced by Michael Ryan, Director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Health Emergencies Program, on Wednesday, July 29.
According to him, at the moment WHO does not know how many people on Earth must get coronavirus so that we can talk about the presence of herd immunity among residents. At the same time, Ryan noted that most scientists believe that this requires 60-80% of the population, but some scientists suggest that the proportion may be less.
The specialist added that whatever this number actually is, at the moment humanity is not close to it. Before humans can achieve this level of immunity, the virus will continue to “burn our society”. At the same time, Ryan explained that the very idea that the goal may be to achieve herd immunity is contrary to disease control.
The director said that in order to gain 70% immunity, people would have to allow the virus to spread, resulting in high death tolls and overwhelming the health system.
At the same time, Ryan recalled that many people feel unwell even after a considerable time has passed after recovery. This applies not only to older people, but also to young patients. Doctors have seen significant long-term effects of COVID-19, including coughing and breathing difficulties after 10-15 weeks, which are not yet fully understood by specialists.
Earlier on July 29, Michael Ryan said that the efficacy of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of coronavirus has not been confirmed by large studies.