Can controlled 'herd immunity' be an alternative to social distancing?
In some European countries, there are ongoing discussions about what measures to introduce and when. Some countries are focusing on the best ways to reach what’s called ‘herd immunity’ – a critical point in a pandemic when the number of people who have grown immune to the virus automatically limit its spread.
For weeks, the British government avoided implementing restrictions on wider society.
The goal appeared to be to allow members of the community who are considered less vulnerable to be infected, in order to reach the tipping point of herd immunity sooner.
But after models showed how badly UK hospitals would be overwhelmed in such a scenario, and with the potentially hundreds of thousands of deaths it would cause, priorities have shifted.
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