by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts-Nevis (WINN) – Health experts agree that 70-80% of a country’s populace must be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity. That is of course based on years of research into diseases like polio. However, with just about one year’s worth of research the threshold for herd immunity of the COVID-19 virus with all its variants is still being researched.
The goal of keeping the federation as safe as possible from COVID-19 and its variants still remains a priority for St. Kitts-Nevis according to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hazel Laws. However, she stressed the bigger picture, herd immunity, during the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) press briefing on February 03.
Considering the three variants of public concern are described as more infectious, with a higher chance of reinfection and an increased chance of death, is herb immunity even possible?
What is herd immunity?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) ‘Herd immunity’, also known as ‘population immunity’, is the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection.
However, experts have indicated that herd immunity against COVID-19 should be achieved through vaccination and not by exposure.
Japan, the host of the next Olympic games, is expected to reach herd immunity in October 2021 according to a Reuters article, through arrangements to purchase 314 million doses from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, and that would be more than enough for its population of 126 million.
Based on this example the best way for St. Kitts-Nevis to achieve herd immunity is 100 percent inoculation, barring no changes in variants that may mutate beyond the vaccine’s protection.