Top Thai virologist claims herd immunity does not work with COVID-19. “We can never get rid of it”

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“Forget about herd immunity because it will not work with COVID-19.” So says Dr. Yong Poovorawan, chief of the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at the Faculty of Medicine of Chulalongkorn University, in his Facebook post on Sunday.

He said that, when the majority of people in a country have developed immunity, whether from vaccinations or after being infected with a disease, such as measles, the minority who have not been vaccinated or who have not been infected by the disease will be protected from the infection.

Herd immunity does not, however, work with some specific diseases, such as tetanus, even though many people have been vaccinated against it and, if someone gets pierced by a rusty nail, they will be infected with tetanus, said Dr. Yong.

He cited the case of Singapore, where 80% of its population are fully inoculated, or the case of Israel, where the majority of the people are also fully vaccinated, COVID-19 infections have re-emerged, although the illness has become less severe.

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Symptoms will be severe in people who do not have immunity, but after the first infection, the symptoms will be less severe if the same people are re-infected and this trend will go on until the disease becomes a normal respiratory disease, said the virologist.

Dr. Yong said the most important thing is that everyone must have immunity, although it may not be perfect, it can help reduce the severity of the infection until, in the future, there is a drug which can treat the symptoms.

“We will have to live with the virus (COVID-19) the way we have been living with other viruses and this disease can happen in young children, but with mild symptoms. “We can never get rid of it,” he concluded, as he advised everyone to get vaccinated to develop immunity.

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