Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

METRO PLUS

Many feared dead as explosion rocks Benue community [PHOTOS]

Scores have been reportedly killed in a fuel tanker explosion at the Amoke village of Apa Local Government Area in Benue State.

Osun: One dead, children, others injured as masquerades attack Muslims

At least, one person has been confirmed dead while about 12 persons, including children sustained gunshot injuries in a clash that ensued...

4 confirmed dead after car hit six pedestrians in Yola

Four pedestrians have been confirmed dead and two others injured after a car hit them around the Adamawa State capital, Yola.

Two rescued, 12 abducted in Kaduna community

Kaduna Police Command has rescued two persons, while 12 others were abducted by bandits in Kachia local government area of Kaduna State.

Man sets in-law’s house ablaze in Jigawa

A 40-year-old man, Ibrahim Musa has set his in-law’s house ablaze at Kuzoyara village, Birniwa local Government area of Jigawa State.

Herd immunity may not be reached in Canada but a return to life similar to that before COVID-19 is possible through immunization, experts say.

Such immunity is achieved when enough people are immune to a virus, either through vaccinations or natural infections or a combination of both.

Prof. Paul Tupper of Simon Fraser University’s mathematics department said herd immunity is unlikely to happen with COVID-19 for a few reasons.

The virus is being transmitted worldwide, which means it is reintroduced in different places across borders and immunity through vaccination and infection doesn’t last permanently. The vaccines don’t seem to be completely effective against some of the new variants, he said.

“So, I think what is more likely to happen is that we end up in a situation like we have with seasonal flu,” Tupper said.

“We have to live with the flu, and I think something similar is going to happen with COVID.”

The level of immunity among the population also changes with the variants, especially the more transmissible strains, he said.

Sarah Otto, a University of British Columbia professor, said the disease’s reproductive rate is hard to pinpoint, which makes it difficult to establish a herd immunity target. Otto is an expert on the mathematical models of pandemic growth and control in the university’s zoology department.

The reproductive rate is the number of additional people infected by a single person with COVID-19, which has also changed because of the variants, she said.

Canada might also fall short of herd immunity because people can still get infected after vaccination, even if they are less likely to develop symptoms, she said.

“We don’t yet know how effective vaccines are at reducing transmission from person to person and that matters a lot,” Otto said.

Vaccinated people are getting fewer infections but those who do can still suffer severe symptoms, she said

“Before the pandemic, we didn’t have working vaccines for coronaviruses, so we don’t know exactly what the outcomes are going to be. It’s very unusual to have a disease with such wildly differing outcomes, with asymptomatic individuals and severely affected long haulers. How are vaccines going to change that mix? We don’t really know why the severe cases are so severe.”

Tupper said public health guidelines will change as more people get vaccinated.

“But the goal of eradicating COVID just does not appear to be realistic.”

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto, said vaccines can significantly reduce transmission rates, regardless of whether Canada reaches herd immunity.

“Some communities might have no transmission while other communities, even within the same province, might have some low levels of transmission and it’s all based on vaccine status,” he said.

“But regardless, we will achieve very, very low rates of transmission in our communities because of vaccination.”

Community level immunity is when a virus is not completely eliminated, he said.

“There may be some transmission of COVID-19 but sporadically with small outbreaks or with low levels of transmission, while most people are largely unaffected due to widespread vaccination.”

It had been suggested that herd immunity could be reached when about 70 per cent of the population is vaccinated, but now researchers don’t know what level of protection is required because of the variants.

Otto said there are more questions than answers at this point.

“With every partial answer we get two or three more questions. These are hard and tricky issues and I wish we were less uncertain, but that is the truth of the matter.”


Credits: CTV News

Sign up to FREE email alerts from Tribunepoint Weekly - Daily News

When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.

- Advertisement -

Read Also

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest News

Buhari’s assent to PIB lack of respect for Nigerians – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for the immediate amendment of the new Petroleum Industry Act Bill recently approved by President...

‘He was in good health, great spirits’ – Saraki reacts to death of Ibrahim Mantu

Immediate past President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has reacted to the death of Ibrahim Mantu, a former Deputy Senate...

Buhari mourns ex-Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu

President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the family of former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, joining the Plateau State Government and indigenes...

Anambra 2021: Soludo remains APGA Guber candidate – Ex-CBN boss’ spokesman, Pauly Onyeka insists

The camp of former Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor Prof. Charles Soludo, has rubbished the recent court orders declaring Chuma Umeoji...

Kwara APC crisis: Parallel congresses imminent on Saturday

There are strong indications that parallel congresses will be held by the two major warring factions of the All Progressives Congress in...