A herd immune coronavirus strategy may be ‘dangerous’, experts say

Such an approach – similar to what was followed in Sweden – would mean that many people nationwide would have to become ill with coronaviruses to form a natural antidote in communities. As the virus spreads and makes people sick, many people may die in the process.

Atlas categorically denied that he was pursuing a herd immunity strategy, but an administration official told CNN that the policies Atlas pushed are all in the vein of a herd immunity strategy.

Atlas has rejected the need for comprehensive community testing, arguing that the administration should focus almost exclusively on protecting and testing the elderly population while emphasizing the rest of the economy to go back to normal, the official said .

“Everything he says and points towards herd immunity,” said a senior administration official.

Coronovirus, dr. Lynn Wen, an emergency physician and CNN medical analyst, could die in an effort to achieve herd immunity, nearly 2 million Americans, said Monday.

Wayne told CNN’s Briana Keeler that she has “major concerns” about a herd immune approach and is still unknown how long immunity to Kovid-19 can occur.

“If we’re waiting for 60% to 80% of the people, we’re talking about more than 200 million Americans – and at a fatality rate of 1%, let’s say, 2 million Americans will die in this effort. To try to get herd immunity, ”said Wayne. “They are preventable deaths of our loved ones that we cannot allow under our supervision.”

What is herd immunity and why some people think it can end the coronovirus epidemic
Maria Van Kerkhov, World Health Organization’s technical head for corona virus response Said during a media briefing in Geneva last week “Swarm immunity” is commonly discussed in the context of vaccination – not as a response to an epidemic.

“Usually when we talk about herd immunity, we talk about how much of the population needs to be vaccinated in order for the pathogen to be immune to the virus, so that transmission can no longer occur or the virus or It is very difficult for the pathogen. To communicate between people, “Van Kerkhov said.

“If we think of herd immunity in the natural sense of letting a virus run, it’s very dangerous,” she said. “This means that many people are infected, many people will need to be hospitalized and many will die.”

Sweden’s ‘herd defense’ efforts

Herd immunity is required to a specific extent for a specific population or community that calls for keeping it at bay against infectious disease – and this protection may come from pre-infection or vaccination, Drs. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, told CNN on Monday.

“If a herd immune limit has been exceeded, it is very difficult to infect people new to an infectious disease and to be able to maintain transmission in that community,” Adalja said, when she When it comes to Sweden, “It seems as if the herd had crossed the immunity threshold, we can tell everyone.”

Sweden is still nowhere;  Herd immunity, & # 39;  Even if it didn't go into lockdown
Unlike most countries, Sweden did not go into lockout when it spread throughout Europe in early spring. Instead, there was an emphasis on personal responsibility, with most bars, schools, restaurants and salons remaining open.
Despite a more relaxed approach, only 7.3% of people in Stockholm had developed the antibodies needed to fight the disease by the end of April – less than 70–90% of herd immunity.

Now the country has more than 5,800 deaths from Kovid-19, which is equivalent to about 576.38 deaths per million people. The last Kovid-19 fatal was recorded on 23 August.

Sweden holds the record for the most deaths in 150 years in the first half of 2020

The number of deaths per million people in the country is much higher than its nearest neighbors, with similar population densities, such as Denmark at 107.73, Finland at 60.46, Norway at 48.7 or Estonia at 48.25.

“When the majority of the population is immune to an infectious disease, it provides indirect protection – herd immunity – to those who do not become immune to the disease by acting as a bulge against further population growth. Are, ”said Eric Orlowski of the university. College London, and a London-based retired physician, Dr. David Goldsmith wrote in a commentary which was published in mid-August in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

“It is likely that some of this inter-Scandinavian difference in mortality outcomes may also arise from the failure to shield the most vulnerable sweds from viral infections (40% – 50% of their cases have occurred in elderly nursing home residents. Population). ), ”Orlovsky and Goldsmith wrote. “But as with other aspects of this unique crisis, more time is needed to understand the many lasting effects.”

After the fall, Kovid-19 cases are rising again in American nursing homes

Much of the criticism surrounding Sweden’s response has focused on high mortality in care homes.

“It is not clear how to completely separate those who are at risk for severe disease from those who usually get mild disease,” Adalja said.

“The biggest problem I have with the Swedish approach is that if you’re going to do this – if we’re really trying and herd immunity – then you really need to strengthen your nursing home and All you really need to do is some testing and tracing and separate, ”he said. “If herd immunity does not include testing, tracing, and isolation, it is going to be much harder to save vulnerable populations.”

Sweden’s leading epidemiologist Anders Tegenel admitted in June that the country’s public health agency “did not know that there would be such a high probability of the disease spreading to homes in the elderly, with so many deaths.”

But he told the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyther: “There are things we could have done better but in general I think Sweden has chosen the right path.”

Sweden does not defend locking coronoviruses, but fails to protect the elderly
A top official of the World Health Organization on Monday praised Sweden’s response to the coronovirus epidemic, saying its approach had been mistaken. The executive director of the WHO’s Health Emergency Program, Drs. Mike Ryan said “there is a misconception” that Sweden has not implemented control measures.
“It has tried to rely on individuals and communities to follow the government’s advice and it has tried to avoid mandatory lockdown, mandatory segregation of individuals,” Ryan said. During a media briefing in Geneva, Stating that it is based on a historically very high level of trust between the Swedish government and its people.

“In Sweden, Anders Teganel and the team there have done a good job,” Ryan said.

“That is the way in which the Swedish people and the Swedish government negotiate. In Sweden it is a social contract,” he said. “No one has come up with a correct strategy through this epidemic.”

‘Instead of pushing for herd immunity, America should double’

Former Commissioner of US Food and Drug Administration Drs. Scott Gottlieb wrote an opinion for The Wall Street Journal on Sunday that turned against the idea of ​​the United States following the model of Sweden.
The US and UK governments are at the bottom of the pile in the rankings & # 39;  Tackle the coronavirus epidemic

“Swedish government officials, initially taking steps to protect the elderly, sought to carry out the virus largely in the general population without stating it. The Swedish view was that the country could reach herd immunity without endangering the economy.” . But holding Sweden as an enlightened model. Important part of its experience, “Gottlieb wrote in the op-ed.

“Many Swedes pulled themselves back from normal activities to avoid infection, even younger and middle-aged people. The country experienced 5,821 Kovid deaths in the shape of North Carolina. Sweden of Sweden Compared to much less. The country’s economic recovery is in its worst state. “Facing a dangerous epidemic requires dissemination wherever possible.”

He noted that wearing masks, testing for Kovid-19 and tracing the contacts of those with whom it remains helpful.

At Harvard TH Chan, former Assistant Secretary for Health of President Obama and Professor Dr. Howard Koh said, “Attempts to create ‘herd immunity’ in Sweden have certainly failed and certainly we should not try to replicate in the United States.” The School of Public Health said in an email to CNN on Monday.

Koh said, “More, pushing for ‘herd immunity’ will now completely spur months of work done by the US in efforts to control the virus.” “Instead of pushing for herd immunity, the US will have to double down on the public health tools at our disposal – including wearing universal masks, extensive testing and contract tracing – until a vaccine and more effective therapeutics are available. “

CNN Pamela Kirkland, Jeremy Diamond, Lauren Mascarenhas, Hilary McGann, Emma Reynolds and Vasco Kotovio contributed to this report.