argument top image

When will coronavirus end?
Back to question

Herd immunity will take time

With the rising number of cases of COVID-19 around the world, health officials continue to work to find the best way to protect the public from the disease. Health officials continue to mention herd immunity as a possible way to contain the spread of COVID-19. But it will take time.

The Argument

The COVID-19 pandemic will last 2 years because it will take time for herd immunity to develop. Herd immunity occurs when enough people become immune to a disease to make its spread unlikely. As a result, the entire community is protected, even those who are not themselves immune. Vaccination usually causes a population's herd immunity, and public health experts bet on this in regards to the coronavirus vaccine.[1] Currently, a vaccine is on track to be developed and distributed on a large scale in mid-late 2021. Based on what we know about the contagiousness of the COVID-19 virus, it will take 60% to 70% of the population to be immune in order to achieve herd immunity. This will take time and a dramatic reduction in transmission of the virus won't occur until herd immunity is reached.[1] Many are picturing a situation where once the vaccine is available, herd immunity begins immediately.[2] But that situation is unrealistic and unscientific. As public health experts have stated, the length of the pandemic will likely be 18 to 24 months, as herd immunity gradually develops in the human population.[3] This will bring the pandemic to a close well into the year of 2022.

Counter arguments

The COVID-19 pandemic will be over before July 2022 because of the speed of vaccine development and other precautionary measures. Right now, numerous vaccines are in clinical trials around the world and according to some public experts will be available in early 2021.[4] Additionally, according to experts, herd immunity can occur in a couple of months because some immunity has already been built in certain cities.[5] If a vaccine is distributed in early 2021 and herd immunity takes some time to develop, then immunity can be achieved as early as the end of 2021, with some spillover into early 2022. Furthermore, other measures being taken such as social distancing, remote work, and mask-wearing will help expedite the process of ending the pandemic before 2022. The unprecedented quick pace of vaccine development and distribution will allow for herd immunity to be developed well before July 2022. Because herd immunity can be developed before July 2022, the pandemic will be over before then too.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Sunday, 4 Oct 2020 at 19:36 UTC

Explore related arguments