Anthony Fauci has been saying that the country needs to vaccinate 70% to 85% of the population to reach herd immunity from Covid-19. But he inexplicably ignores natural immunity. If you account for previous infections, herd immunity is likely close at hand.
Data from the California Department of Public Health, released earlier this month, show that while only 8.7% of the state’s population has ever tested positive for Covid-19, at least 38.5% of the population has antibodies against the novel coronavirus. Those numbers are from Jan. 30 to Feb. 20. Adjusting for cases between now and then, and accounting for the amount of time it takes for the body to make antibodies, we can estimate that as many as half of Californians have natural immunity today.
Undercounting or removing the many Americans with natural immunity from any tally of herd immunity is a scientific error of omission. When people wonder why President Biden talks about limiting Fourth of July gatherings, it’s because his most prominent medical adviser has dismissed the contribution of natural immunity, artificially extending the timeline.
Many physicians believe that vaccinated immunity will prove more durable than natural immunity. I agree, and I think everyone should get vaccinated. But after a year of millions of Covid-19 cases in the U.S., it’s clear that reinfections are rare. Natural immunity is real and shouldn’t be ignored.
Lockdown has also gnawed at quality of life for all but the best-resourced and most well-connected elderly people. A massive 80% of respondents to an Alzheimer’s Society survey reported a dramatic decline in faculties as a consequence of isolation. And there are harrowing stories of the impact isolation in a care home has had, on people with advanced dementia deprived even of visits from loving relatives.
We’ve paid steeply to control this virus. The price has not just been in government borrowing but in the tattered warp and weft of our common life.
The only thing that matters is your own immune status. If you are vaccinated, you are protected. If someone is not vaccinated next to you at the bar, it will not matter because you are vaccinated. If you are sitting next to someone on an aeroplane it doesn’t matter what their immune status is, as long as you know yours.
Also, as [Robert] Dingwall pointed out to me, once the over-50s and vulnerable categories have been vaccinated, 98 per cent of the risk of death and 80 to 85 per cent of the risk of serious illness will have been eliminated. The vaccine programme is already a success for at-risk individuals and for society as a whole.
Will Jones fact-checks the BBC’s fact-checkers. Here’s his intro:
IN ITS latest ‘reality check’, the BBC attempts to rebut seven of the ‘most frequently-shared false and misleading claims’ about Covid.
It’s written by Jack Goodman, a ‘producer, newsreader and reporter at BBC Radio Derby’, and Flora Carmichael, a ‘journalist and producer with a strong track record of developing media partnerships and managing international projects and teams’.
So you can see why they would be well-qualified to set straight Oxford’s Professor Sunetra Gupta, Harvard’s Professor Martin Kulldorff, Stanford’s Professor Jay Bhattacharya and other eminent sceptics.