Coronavirus: What is herd immunity and what does it mean for COVID-19?

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As the novel coronavirus continues to spread in Canada and around the globe, the concept of herd immunity has been put into the spotlight.

In Canada, officials have shuttered schools and all non-essential businesses, have limited all non-essential travel and have urged the public to practice physical distancing in order to stem the spread of COVID-19 and give researchers time to develop a vaccine.

But, if scientists aren’t successful in creating a vaccine, the country would need to develop what is known as natural herd immunity in order for the pandemic to end.

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Community Interviews with Moose FM


What is herd immunity and what does it mean for COVID-19? Here’s what experts say.

What is herd immunity?

“The idea of herd immunity is that you have enough people in the population who are immune [to a virus] and you’re either immune because you had the infection already, or you’ve been vaccinated,” Dr. Jeff Kwong, an infectious disease specialist and associate professor in the department of family and community medicine at the University of Toronto said.

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