US President Donald Trump stated during a recent interview that herd mentality could help people to eradicate the coronavirus even without the use of a vaccine, and the statement has lead to numerous discussions across social media and forums.
Before going forward, it is important to clarify the fact that President Trump was referring to herd immunity, despite the fact that he clearly said herd mentality. The statement was offered during a town hall meeting, which took place in Pennsylvania, one of the states which play a major role in the upcoming election.
Herd immunity theories have been a hot topic in the medical community for a long while since the dangers can be as big as the potential advantages that are offered. According to herd immunity theories, once a large amount of the population becomes immune to a disease, it will be harder for the disease to spread.
This large-scale immunity offers a great advantage for people who already have the disease or have obtained immunity and people that could catch the disease, since the number of individuals that could spread it becomes considerably lower in time.
Dangers of herd immunity
Herd immunity was achieved in the past by natural infections and vaccines. In the first case, diseases spread across a community, and by beating, the disease people gained immunity in time. Vaccines have also played a major role in the eradication of several infectious diseases.
While vaccines are being developed, willful exposure to coronavirus could lead to an extreme number of deaths, while the medical system would be overwhelmed by a large number of patients and the need to provide extensive care to those who develop severe cases of COVID-19.
Until an effective vaccine is developed and approved for mass use, there is no way to achieve herd immunity without an immense cost.