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Vaccination Is Not EntireAnswer To CoViD

As the Pfizer-BioNTechvaccine is now being shipped out,and with Moderna’s mRNA vaccine about to achieve FDA approval,Americans begin tobreathe easier believing that vaccination isthe answer to our prayers, an end to the CoViD-19 nightmare. Suchconfidence is misplaced. Vaccination is part of the answer but not the complete solution.

The goal of vaccination is to make all Americans immune to the virus. This is impossible for two reasons. First, there is vaccine efficacy. The most optimistic, early reports suggest 94 percent effectiveness. Even if everyone were vaccinated, 6 percent or 19.8 million Americans would remain susceptible, i.e., could become infected.

A second reason we cannot achieve anything close to 100 percent immunity is that many will not accept vaccination. A report in the Wall Street Journal (12/8/20) suggested as many as 40 percent of Europeans intend to refuse vaccination. The number of Americans refuseniks is unknown but is likely to be large. If 40 percent remain susceptible, we may not develop herd immunity.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for more than 35 years, claimed that herd immunity is both �dangerous� as well as �nonsense.� In fact, herd immunity makes perfect epidemiologic sense. Herd immunity is precisely what we seek: that is the only way to stop this or any pandemic. When we achieve some magic number of immune people, the virus cannot �get to� susceptible individuals to infect them. The herd of immune individuals form a protective barrier around the susceptible.

Herd immunity achieved by mass vaccination is called artificial or medical herd immunity. Herd immunity acquired through infection and recovery is called natural herd immunity. Dr. Fauci was presumably referring to natural herd immunity as dangerous. While this is true for the elderly with multiple comorbid conditions, CoViD is not dangerous to the general, healthy population or in children. Their actual case fatality rates are approximately 0.1 percent and 0.03 percent respectively, similar to the seasonal flu read more….

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