Physical distancing by applying quarantine and self-isolation methods is considered effective, but this clearly makes us feel bored. It is likely to also have an impact on our psycho-social and economic life in the future.  Many of us begin to wonder; How long will the COVID-19 pandemic last?

Another effective way to eradicate this type of virus is with an effective vaccine given to every human being to prevent transmission.  The purpose of mass vaccination is to achieve mass immunity or ‘herd immunity‘.  As an example, herd immunity has been achieved with other viruses such as the chickenpox, measles and polio, but it has taken years to eradicate these viruses.

“Herd immunity”, also known as ‘population immunity’, is the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection.

As with most pandemics, when cases reach 50 percent of the population or more, without even doing anything else, there’s less virus to be able to infect others because of immunity build-up in people who have recovered, and the epidemic naturally descends.  The percentage of people who need to be immune in order to achieve herd immunity varies with each disease.  For example, herd immunity against measles requires about 95% of a population to be vaccinated.  The remaining 5% will be protected by the fact that measles will not spread among those who are vaccinated.  For polio, the threshold is about 80%.

Until now, the proportion of the population that must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to begin inducing herd immunity is not yet known.  Unfortunately while vaccination has not really had the chance to protect most of the world’s population, a new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has emerged.  Learning from the cases in India, where community immunity has reached more than 50 percent, there is still a spike in cases and death rates due to the new variant.  So the question arises, is this vaccination also effective for this new variant of virus?  It could be that the immunity we get after vaccination is still lacking, therefore, it is highly recommended to check your antibody titer against Covid-19.  As long as we do not fully understand the nature of the mutation, the immunity of our body, and the speed of transmission of the virus and its variants, it seems that we are still far from predicting the end of this pandemic.  It seems that physical distancing, washing your hands, wearing a mask and getting vaccinated are still the most powerful ways to prevent transmission.

Covid-19 Antibody titer test is available at BIMC Hospital, Kuta

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