Covid19 – no herd immunity any time soon

The numbers are in: neither natural infection NOR vaccination will provide herd immunity in the near future.

Why? Because herd immunity implies permanent immunity, and it ain’t happenin’. BOTH types of immunity wane within a matter of months, not years.

Antibodies are produced after your body either fights off a natural infection or is immunized via vaccine. The numbers show that well over 90% of people 18 and over [in the UK] have already produced antibodies against Covid. As the vaccination rates are nowhere near that high, those figures must include people who have developed natural antibodies as well.

Yet infection rates are soaring.

Clearly herd immunity has not been achieved. Herd immunity describes what happens when a virus can’t spread because it keeps bumping up against people who are already immune to it. Those people provide a barrier between the virus and those who are not immune…the fresh meat.

We’ve known about the vaccines’ immunity waning since early 2021 when information started coming out of Israel about Pfizer, but we haven’t had definitive proof that natural infection waned as well. Now we do. Both types of immunity:

  • reduce the likelihood of death and/or severe disease,
  • but neither will last forever,
  • and neither will permanently stop the spread of infection:

In the video, Dr John shows that both UK health and the CDC in the US have admitted that herd immunity is most unlikely, at least in the near future. Covid19-Delta has become ‘endemic’ amongst all populations. We can hold it at bay, but strategies based on the concept of ‘herd immunity’ will fail.

What does that mean? It means that:

  • Covid19-Delta is here to stay.
  • Getting sick or getting vaccinated will only be a ‘Get out of Jail’ card for a short time – 4 to 6 months.
  • The fully vaccinated will require boosters for the foreseeable future.
  • The unvaccinated will continue to be at risk of serious disease and death because they will NOT be protected by the immunity of the herd.
  • Not immune people can be both the UNvaccinated and the FULLYvaccinated. The difference is that the FULLYvaccinated are much less likely to die.
  • Not keeping up with boosters is likely to dump people into the as-good-as-unvaccinated group when it comes to infection, hospitalisation and death.
  • Masks in high risk settings are likely to remain necessary.
  • Lockdowns in areas of high infection will become necessary as hospitals are overwhelmed.
  • Social unrest is likely to escalate.

It is disappointing. Very. Disappointing.

It’s also scary because the people who have been brainwashed into believing Covid is just some kind of global conspiracy will say “See, I told you it was all a con. They said the vaccines would make us safe and now they’re saying they won’t.” Meanwhile, the anti-vaxxers will say “See, vaccines don’t work!”

The truth is rather more nuanced. Vaccines do make us safe, but not permanently. I think of it as a maintenance issue. When we first get new brake pads fitted to our cars, they work perfectly. With time and wear and tear, they work less and less well. If we don’t have them replaced, they’ll eventually wear out completely and then we’ll have a potentially fatal accident.

Sadly, that may be too logical an argument for those who’ve lost faith in public institutions. And science.

I’ve often wondered what it must have felt like in the past, when civilizations unravelled, when dystopia happened for real. Now I really don’t want to find out.


About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

26 responses to “Covid19 – no herd immunity any time soon

  • Widdershins

    ‘Tis an unravelling as to take the breath from one’s body. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      It is, it is. Hopefully not from any of /our/ bodies though. Btw hearing about floods in British Columbia? Apologies for being geographically challenged but is that near you and Mrs Widds? And are you both safe?

      Liked by 1 person

  • Matthew Wright

    You’re right with your list of what’s about to happen. I remain dismayed by the way that the anti-vaxers are oblivious to the fact that the science of both vaccines and of disease control is of necessity going to involve multiple factors. The issue of waning immunity with certain virus types is totally well established – I mean, why else do we have to get repeated tetanus shots? Coronavirus as a family of viruses is well known to produce only temporary immunity, which is partly why people keep getting the common cold. So no surprises that Covid-19 immunity is similar. (Note that I said partly… there’s also the way that the cold coronavirus mutates and is actually a range of close-related viruses… more multiple factors…).

    Did I ever mention that I was saved by the tetanus shot? Years back I was helping my wife in the garden, got jagged by a rose thorn, and the wound shortly flared up. My GP looked at it and said ‘well, that’s your tetanus shot working.’ So yeah, on personal experience, vaccines work.

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      Yeah, it seems as if some people form an emotional ‘view point’ and nothing can budge it, including a lot of facts and history. I know they’re being manipulated shamelessly, but…it’s almost as if they want to be. My Mum was the same. Once her mind was made up, about anything, neither logic nor facts could move her.
      Good reminder about the tetanus shot. I can’t remember when I had my last booster. Another thing to look into once I can safely rejoin humanity. Yah…

      Liked by 1 person

  • Bette A. Stevens

    Looks like we’re all in for the long haul… Stay safe and well, Meeks!

    Liked by 2 people


    A good summing up, boosters are being rolled out fast here thank goodness and everyone I know is keen to get theirs when it is due. I am on chemotherapy and have had a primary 3 just a few days over the six months since my second jab and will have a booster in six months time. Boosters are here to stay. My next door neighbours early forties and my daughter, 38 all caught Covid despite being double vaccinated – they felt bad but stayed safe.

    Liked by 2 people

  • bone&silver

    Strange and Sad New World indeed 😦

    Liked by 2 people


    From the get-go I felt like this is how it feels to live in a sci-fi apocalypse prequel novel, not only pandemic but writing on the wall global warming-climate change-weather extremes-politics-MAGA-QAnon-GMO’s-laboratory cultured meat, and so on. I’ve just read Denis Glover’s novel Factory 19… we can’t go back to 1948.
    I never anticipated herd immunity nor the vaccine would be a full solution but once I understood the science of it, much as I hate injections, I was on board, and as events turned out last week when I received a Service NSW text that I’d been in the vicinity of a Covid infectious person, I was grateful that I’d been wearing a mask, hadn’t lingered while going about my business, and both myself the G.O. and the other family members I’d been in contact with in the interim were all double vaxxed. None of us have succumbed.

    Liked by 3 people

    • acflory

      Ugh, Dale, that must have been so scary – despite all the precautions!
      I’d read, prior to the pandemic, that herd immunity is reached at around 70% of the whole population, so as our vaccination rates went up and up, I allowed myself to believe that we’d be one of the lucky countries. -sigh-
      At an intellectual level I knew things would never go back exactly the same as before, but heaven alone knows where this new reality will end up.
      I’m not a huge fan of pre-apocalypse/post-apocalypse fiction. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  • robertawrites235681907

    Hi Meeks, there is nothing here that is a surprise to me or should be to anyone who has read up on viruses. It was obvious right from the beginning that there would need to be annual booster shots for Covid due to its nature. Just like the annual flu shots. I am at peace with that and wearing masks for the foreseeable future. I rather like the masks and the fact they contain other peoples spittle [OCD Robbie – especially in food places]. Even vaccines like the MMR and chicken pox often have to be redone and Tetanus must be re-administered every 10 years.

    Liked by 5 people

  • CarolCooks2

    Year 3 of Covid and beyond is looming, sigh…Thank you for highlighting the facts …sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

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