Herd immunity in India against coronavirus
Right now, India is in its fifth edition of lockdown, yet the coronavirus cases have not eased. This clearly shows that lockdowns are ineffective. Such situations make the experts wonder whether the risks and the long-term damage to the economy is a worthy strategy to prevent the transmission even if it isn’t showing the needed results. The government at the center and in states are trying their best to provide medical support to the COVID-19 patients that have been piling up continuously in the hospitals.
Herd immunity means when more than half the population is immune to a particularly contagious disease. Even though many experts brag about the usefulness of herd immunity, it is not a reliable and proper preventive strategy without a vaccine, especially in India. Many people in India think we are immune to the virus just because we have Ayurveda and we drink cow’s urine which is entirely a stupid and depressing thought. There are three reasons why herd immunity will not work for India and may also be potentially hazardous — leading to increased hospitalizations that will overwhelm the health care system and destroying the condition of it further and eventually contribute to high death rates.
- First, experts don’t know much about COVID-19 immunity, particularly how long it lasts, what kind of protection it provides, and whether it can be reinfected. These are the same questions that experts around the world are always trying to find out, including those at the World Health Organisation.
- Second, herd immunity is advised for India, on the assumption that there is a large young population. However, this hypothesis is troublesome as thousands of young Indian adults have risky underlying conditions and risk factors that, if contaminated with COVID-19, may lead to severe complications and death.
- Thirdly, it is difficult to incorporate herd immunity as a solo tactic. It will also need to be complemented by increased efficiency in the healthcare system, increased collaboration between the public and private health sectors, increased monitoring, protecting high-risk communities, and gradations of social distancing measures. It is surely dangerous to rely solely on a Herd Immunity strategy
- In India, herd immunity seems more impossible because over-crowding is a big issue nowadays as people pay no heed to the instructions of the government. Also, preventive norms such as social distancing and hand washing are not being followed properly.
Instead of relying on mass infection for building coronavirus resistance, the country needs a long-term, data-driven, decentralized solution.