China’s top coronavirus expert says ‘herd immunity’ has ZERO chance of curbing pandemic because it’s too infectious – The Sun
CHINA’S leading coronavirus expert has said the strategy of “herd immunity” will not work because the disease is too infectious.
Dr Zhong Nanshan criticised the policy whereby where a large portion of the public are exposed to the disease in order to build up resistance.
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England's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said last week that a herd immunity approach could be beneficial and 60 per cent of the UK population will need to become infected to prevent another more aggressive outbreak of Covid-19.
The thinking shaped the government’s decision to avoid draconian measures, such as the lockdown in Italy.
But it has now dramatically changed tack and closed schools amid fears many more people than originally thought could die as the death toll reaches 104.
“Herd immunity won't solve the problem,” said Dr Zhong.
“We don't have the evidence to prove that if you are infected once, you would be immune for life. Our next step is to develop effective vaccines, which requires global cooperation.”
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Last week Sir Patrick outlinex the thinking behind the herd immunity approach, which he said was aimed at preventing the virus recurring.
“We think this virus is likely to be one that comes year on year, becomes like a seasonal virus,” he said.
"Communities will become immune to it and that's going to be an important part of controlling this longer term.
"About 60 per cent is the sort of figure you need to get herd immunity."
But Health Secretary Matt Hancock denied that was the Government's policy, describing it as a "scientific concept".
The approach had been criticised by a group of scientists from UK universities, who said it risks "many more lives than necessary", and was called into question by the World Health Organisation.
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