Can Herd Immunity Actually Be a Plausible Solution to COVID-19?

As the presence of COVID-19 has heightened over the better half of the year, several important discussions have been held, most of which center around possible solutions and further precautionary measures. While some countries appear to have a tight hold on various measures to rise above COVID, possible solutions have been made very clear. In addition, countries with lower COVID cases like Taiwan and Australia have navigated back to a new form of normalcy. Under such circumstances, it might be assumed that such calculated and necessary precautions would be followed by the majority of nations. Nonetheless, as each country tries to reign in the virus, other solutions have been adapted. The United States, in particular, has taken a route many have already deemed irresponsible and, most of all, extremely fatal. This route is herd immunity.  A rather hefty solution within itself, herd immunity has become the topic of many COVID discussions within the United States. With great disdain against this very solution, however, its general approval is highly unlikely over time.

     To elaborate, herd immunity is the idea that, by culminating large masses of people and exposing them to an infectious virus, said people will become immune to it. In this instance, the virus is COVID-19, and the people are American residents. Notably proposed and glorified by President Trump, herd immunity appears to be the favored solution of the U.S. government. As many White House officials agree upon this decision, the solution may already be underway with slim chance of further discussion. While the ramifications of such a critical decision are hazy, many people, including enlightened scientists, hypothesize that absolutely nothing good can come from it.

     Whether President Trump and his fellow administration officials have truly considered the realities of herd immunity is unclear. What is clear, however, is just how much this supposed solution will disrupt the already disturbed lives of many around the nation. Given the 217,000 fatalities already incurred in the United States due to COVID-19, subjecting the country to the further horrors of herd immunity is an odd decision to take on, to say the least. If herd immunity were to be implemented today, fatalities would only be projected to sharply increase. Reputable immunologist and NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci suggests that extreme numbers of people, over 100 million, will fall ill before herd immunity actually becomes effective. Dr. Fauci further notes herd immunity as a solution is “nonsense” (CNBC).

       The vital piece of information missing from White House discussions of herd immunity, however, concerns vaccination. As the effectiveness of herd immunity is dependent upon a vaccine, any way of navigating around it would be faulty. Scientists agree that at least 60 to 80 percent of the population must be vaccinated or possess natural antibodies — a rather strong projection. Without a vaccine present and the vast majority of people receiving it, herd immunity can only result in a ruthless situation of survival-of-the-fittest.

     The very skewed perception of herd immunity embraced by the President and several White House officials is not only imprudent but extremely dangerous. Enacting such a solution to a threatening problem is only to set more fuel onto an ongoing fire. While it is significant that solutions are being conjured, the nation appears far from one of feasible nature.

Works Cited

Higgins-Dunn, Noah. “Dr. Fauci Says Letting the Coronavirus Spread to Achieve Herd Immunity Is ‘Nonsense’ and ‘Dangerous’.” CNBC, CNBC, 15 Oct. 2020,