When it comes to manufacturing a cure for COVID-19, it might take several years for it to be created, and for the results to work as expected. It could take even longer for the herd immunity to occur, considering the extent of which vaccinations in Calgary can be available.
What is herd immunity, though? And why is it important? This blog breaks down the importance of herd immunity and how it relates to the COVID-19 crisis.
What is Herd Immunity?
In basic terms, herd immunity occurs when most of the population is immune to an infectious disease, thereby providing protection – or herd immunity – to those that are not immune to the disease.
Some classic examples in which herd immunity works is with measles, mumps, polio, and chickenpox. These diseases were once common and highly contagious. But due to the availability of a vaccine, herd immunity has been established. While cases might still occur, due to a large number of protected individuals, the virus does not spread as quickly.
Overall, usually between 70% to 90% of a population needs immunity against the virus for herd immunity to be achieved.
What are the Challenges for Herd Immunity?
The rule for herd immunity is that the more infectious a disease, the higher the population immunity needs to be to ensure herd immunity. Take, for example, measles, which is considered highly contagious. To achieve herd immunity, you need 95% of the popular to be immune.
Simultaneously, given the high numbers in which people can be affected by a new disease (such as COVID-19), it might be challenging to achieve this global immunity because the cases of infected people keep getting higher and higher.
Even when vaccines are available, particular viruses such as the flu mutate over time, so the antibodies from the previous infection only last for a period of time. It is why it is always recommended to go to a flu shot clinic in Calgary before winter to protect yourself against it.
What About COVID-19?
Being that COVID-19 has similar strains to the flu and is as infectious as the measles, the future is unclear in regards to herd immunity. It can be difficult for a vaccination to be created in which it protects people for an extended period of time as it has similar strains to the flu (as additional shots might be required, as the vaccine might have to be adapted). Considering the high numbers, it can take a long time for herd immunity to be achieved.
The upside is that we must remain vigilant against the virus and protect ourselves at all costs. Wear face masks, sanitize yourself often and adhere to social distancing rules. It is also advisable to get all your flu shots and vaccinations from your trusted compounding pharmacy in SW Calgary to protect yourself against all other viruses.
Springborough Pharmasave is your health professionals committed to serving the Springborough community. Our pharmacy in SW Calgary provides you with all you need for your health, including healthcare advice and medical products. We offer vaccinations, flu shots, breast pump rentals, and can act as your travel clinic in Calgary. Giving back to the community is a core value at Pharmasave. Further, we are proud of our work to help the Springborough community. Visit us at 104-30 Springborough Blvd, Southwest Calgary, or call us at (403) 453-6113