The Pursuit of Herd Immunity

One of the more disingenuous arguments that’s being used to pooh pooh herd immunity is the comparison between measles and influenza – and by extension coronavirus. The detractors of herd immunity state that in order to achieve herd immunity with measles one would need to have 95% of the population immune to measles, that herd immunity is impossible without vaccination. Okay, so what?

Measles isn’t influenza.

Measles isn’t coronavirus.

The goals in achieving immunity when comparing measles and influenza are completely different. Measles is not a virus that mutates every single year. If it were, we would all need measles vaccines every single year. With measles, we are pursuing 100% immunity, an almost impossible task given that new children are born every year, but one that we are pursuing anyway.

We don’t want any child to get measles because of the potential sequelae.   Influenza, other than death, doesn’t typically carry that order of sequelae.  If it did, we’d up to our ass in alligators.

In addition, measles is nowhere close in incidence or prevalence to influenza.  Measles is sporadic.  Influenza is there very year in big time numbers; and coronavirus may be also – thanks to our mismanagement of the current pandemic.

We are not pursuing 100% immunity in influenza. We are not trying to achieve anything close, although it would be nice to do so. This is because of the futility in trying to accomplish such. Influenza is a disease in which the virus mutates every single year.  What we are trying to achieve in influenza is to decrease the number of people who get it. As such, we are not pursuing perfection. We want the best that we can get.  Thus we do not need to achieve the technical definition of herd immunity. In other words, we can take half a loaf of bread.

So to compare measles and influenza is disingenuous. It is a trick that the lockdown proponents use to invite you think that herd immunity is completely out of the question.  One clever defender of the lockdown uses incredulousness as a device. Example: “I nearly laughed out loud when I heard someone suggest herd immunity.”

I’m not laughing out loud. Herd immunity in influenza, and by extension coronavirus, is something we should be pursuing – or should have pursued. 

***

What did man do prior to the development of the measles vaccine? Did he run into a house under lockdown so as to get the R-0 value down?  No, our ancestors lived with the disease and took reasonable precautions thus proving that humanity is not evolving – at least not in the direction we want it to.

 

 

Sincerely,

Archer Crosley, MD

McAllen, TX

Monday, May 4, 2020

 

PS  Have you noticed that whenever these crises such as the coronavirus pandemic come around, there’s an entire body of junk science with its “experts” – with articles written – ready to go in all parts of the world? And they have instant access to the media.  Detractors of the official party line are almost never to be seen or heard of.

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