British immunologist warned that relying on immunity to COVID-19 as a strategy to combat a pandemic is “unsafe bet”, adding that the strategy of collective immunity “probably will never work,” writes CNBC.
July 6 Danny Altmann, Professor of immunology at Imperial College London, said that in cities and towns where the cases of coronavirus infection, only 10-15% of the population are likely to have immunity.
“And immunity to this virus looks pretty fragile — it seems that some people can have antibodies for several months, and then they can become loose, so it is unsafe rate, he said. — This is a very tricky virus and immunity to it is very confusing and quite short.”
He also raised the question of the possible success of the so-called herd immunity — when allowed some impact of the virus on the population to generate a immunity in the General population. This argument was invoked by the representatives of the health care system in Sweden, where not imposed quarantine.
Despite the global race to find a vaccine against the coronavirus that experts still are not sure whether or not antibodies are present in people who have had a virus provide immunity to re-infection.
In June the chief adviser on White house health Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested that if COVID-19 will behave like other coronaviruses, “probably will not be long immunity” from antibodies or vaccines. Meanwhile, the who said that it remains unclear whether people will be able to get infected again.
6 Jul Altmann said it expects a second wave COVID-19, and that the situation remains “very, very scary,” although governments around the world are now much better prepared for the revival of infections than in the beginning of the pandemic.
“Anyone who thinks that the virus has weakened or disappeared, or that the problem will resolve itself, engaged in self-deception, he said. — It is still a very deadly virus, it is very, very fast infect people. And I think that humanity is not accustomed to dealing with this reality.”
He also stressed that it is difficult to make predictions as to whether it is possible to determine an effective vaccine against COVID-19.
“The devil is in the details, the vaccine is not so simple,’ said Altmann. — Now tested more than 100 vaccines, and much can go wrong. I now do not bet”.
Altmann said that many scientists, immunologists and specialists in the vaccines are still “very scared” of a pandemic.
He acknowledged that policymakers must find a balance between protecting public health and preventing social and economic disasters, but added: “We must continue to be guided by science and medicine and to do the right thing. This means anything you can do to block transmission of the virus”.
According to the Johns Hopkins University on July 7, a new strain of coronavirus that was first reported to who in late December, has already infected more than 11.6 million people and killed at least 539 058 people in the world.
Director General of the world health organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus last week warned that the pandemic worldwide, accelerating when the economy begins to re-open.