Pawonkidulan | Herd immunity is when the number of people immune to infectious diseases is more than many people who can still be infected.
Herd immunity or community immunity has become an ordinary conversation in 2020 since the Covid-19 pandemic emerged.
Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, had made herd immunity a solution to controlling the spread of Covid-19.
To achieve community immunity, the number of people immune to the disease must be around 50% to 90% of the population, depending on how contagious the condition is. The minimum number of people who are immune to the disease is called the herd immunity threshold.
Building herd immunity is an important step, even after the pandemic is over. The reason is that infectious diseases can spread quickly and widely if the number of immune to the condition falls below the threshold of immunity.
Community immunity can occur in two main ways. The first way is that many people contract the disease so that the body builds an immune response to the infection.
The second way is that many people get vaccinated against the disease so that the body becomes immune. The second way is the safest and less risky way than the first method.
This second method allows many people not to be infected to not disrupt the national health system. Meanwhile, the first method could result in the national health system being overwhelmed and collapsing.
Vaccines are the safest and ideal way to achieve herd immunity. Examples of successful disease control vaccination programs to reach herd immunity is polio, smallpox, and measles.
The vaccination program and herd immunity against measles implemented by WHO from 2000 to 2014 succeeded in reducing the number of deaths by 79% or saving 17.1 million people worldwide.
In general, vaccines contain weakened or inactive germs/bacteria/viruses/toxins. The goal is to stimulate the body to form a defense system against diseases associated with vaccination.
When the vaccine goes to the human body, it will produce antibodies and develop cells to allow the body to fight the disease in the future. This process is commonly known as immunization.
Examples of failed programs for herd immunity are the United States against the flu in 2018-2019. Based on the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) report, 34,200 people died from flu.
This is because the vaccination program is only accepted by 45% of the United States’ total population. Ideally, 80% of Americans should receive their flu shot during 2018-2019.
In dealing with Covid-19, vaccination is a way to exercise community immunity for all citizens of the world.
Therefore, you need to get Covid-19 vaccination to protect yourself, your family, community, and the state.