COVID-19: What is Herd Immunity, and how does it work?

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Vaccination and herd immunity have become buzzwords in the past year. Pharmaceutical companies were able to make COVID-19 vaccines available. And they are now distributed across the world to help boost people’s immune systems to gain better protection against the virus.

But how do vaccines work? Vaccines are made to trigger a response in the body’s immune system to produce “antibodies.” These antibodies are known to be disease-fighting proteins that can help protect people from contracting the disease and transmitting it. Subsequently, transmission chains are likely to break since people become less susceptible to severe infections.

In Europe, the percentage of the adult population that has already received their full doses has reached 81.4%. Moreover, the European Commission continues to work to increase vaccine allocation for citizens. They also exert serious efforts to ensure that the vaccines are safe and effective. So far, the commission has secured about 4.2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses. 

Most of these brands require two doses to be considered fully vaccinated, except for Janssen, which requires a single dosage. These vaccines have been clinically tested and have shown efficacy levels enough to protect against the virus.

The goal of bolstered efforts in vaccination programs is to get as many people immunised from the disease as possible. When enough people have been inoculated against COVID-19, it can lead to herd immunity or population immunity. This phenomenon happens when the immunity from an individual level reaches the population level. It can help not only the vaccinated individuals but also unvaccinated ones. When many are immune, it provides indirect protection to others because the likelihood of transmission has been reduced.

In addition, if governments want to sustain herd immunity, the vaccines need to be efficient. But people should note that this efficacy does not require perfection. If vaccines have 70% effectiveness, it will suffice for a population to achieve herd immunity.

However, even with vaccination efforts increasing, it remains essential to promote COVID-19 testing. Knowing whether someone is positive or negative for the virus can help mitigate further infection. This also allows the patient to take necessary action like self-isolation.

Coronavirus testing is especially important for travellers. Different countries have varying requirements, and ensuring the correct one can help save time and resources. For example, many still require a fit to fly COVID test to know that the passenger is not at risk of spreading the virus to others. Undetected cases can lead to more problems if another outbreak occurs.

When travelling abroad, people must know the type of coronavirus test the destination country accepts. While the PCR test remains the most commonly used, the rapid antigen test is also allowed by some governments.

The COVID-19 global health crisis will eventually cease, but until then, people should remain cautious and follow pandemic protocols. Using masks, practising social distancing, and stringent vaccination efforts to attain herd immunity are vital in combating the pandemic. In addition, countries should also bolster effective testing and tracing and strengthen health system resilience.

For more information on the matter, keep reading this infographic created by Official Rapid Tests that discusses what COVID-19 herd immunity is and how it works.

If you are looking for affordable COVID-19 testing kits, you can rely on government-recognised and trusted providers like Official Rapid Tests by Harley Medic International. They can also help you determine the test you need if you are unsure which one to take. Contact Official Rapid Tests today via their website.

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