Mike Vasser: Herd immunity the wrong approach | TheUnion.com

Mike Vasser: Herd immunity the wrong approach


Regarding Ken Paige’s commentary, ”Hope for the new year,” his targeted COVID-19 strategy is the concept of herd immunity focused on balancing risks and benefits.

He states: “Protecting the most vulnerable at-risk members of our society while allowing others to live their lives normally and build up immunity to the virus through natural infection. Lockdowns have failed to contain the virus.”

How ironic. He does not describe how the most vulnerable citizens will be protected. The reality is that they would need to be isolated from the general population until the population reached herd immunity. That is a lockdown in the extreme.

California is now at almost at 2,594 deaths per 1 million population. By not requiring any action to reduce the virus spread, the California numbers of deaths would be more catastrophic than they are now. At least a 70% infection rate is needed for herd immunity. In order to achieve it California will have to reach 28 million infections.

California’s total population is almost 40 million. Is this really what the writer is proposing?

Accomplishing herd immunity by vaccination while following CDC basic guidelines could be completed in one year without a significant rise in the death rate. This seems to be a more reasonable solution.

The chief epidemiologist at Sweden’s Public Health Agency has a theory that letting the coronavirus run unchecked would lead to herd immunity. Is there anyone who thinks the USA should give this approach a try?

Mike Vasser

Grass Valley

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