Dr. Mike Ryan, the World Health Organization's emergencies director, offered some stern words Wednesday about hopes that herd immunity could stymie the coronavirus.
"Humans are not herds," he said.
Herd immunity, a concept in epidemiology that describes how people can collectively stave off infections if some percentage of the population has immunity to a disease, has emerged in recent weeks as a popular talking point among people who argue that coronavirus lockdowns have been too stringent.
But herd immunity in relation to the coronavirus is far from a reality, particularly without a vaccine. Ryan said the term "herd immunity" emerged from veterinary epidemiology, typically involving business decisions of whether to let animals die for the overall health of a herd.
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