For collective immunity to be achieved, it would require that up to 70 percent of the population being infected. This cannot be the public policy's target because "it does not work".
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the competent center for epidemiology in Germany, warned against betting on "herd immunity" and reiterated that the health authorities' goal should be to keep the rate of infection flat until a vaccine against COVID-19 is found.
The RKI President Lothar Wieler indicated that it is naive to let the virus roam the population until it achieves so-called "herd immunity."
If this proposal were followed, Germany would have to mourn several hundred thousand deaths until the spread of the pandemic could be controlled.
He also recalled that the coronavirus can be accompanied by serious clinical symptoms and leaves detrimental consequences on the patients' health.
For collective immunity to be achieved, it would require that up to 70 percent of the population being infected. This cannot be the public policy's target because "it does not work", Wieler stressed and recalled the experience of other countries in this regard.
He also said that it is still unknown how good the recovered patients' immunity is. In that sense, it cannot be predicted whether a vaccine will provide greater immunity than the natural one. However, fewer people will die if a vaccine is effective and safe.
"Eradication of this virus without a vaccine will not be possible," the RKI scientist warned and asked not to underestimate the coronavirus since "we are only at the beginning of a marathon" as experts believe that the second wave of infections will happen in the fall.
Some leading epidemiologists even consider that the third wave of coronavirus infections might be prompted later.
As of Friday morning, Germany had reported 159,119 COVID-19 cases and 6,288 deaths. In the last 24 hours, authorities recorded 1,478 new cases and 173 deaths.
In this European country, the incidence of infections is 191 per 100,000 inhabitants, while the number of patients recovered is about 123,500.
The reproduction index, which measures the average of new infections caused by an infected individual, is 0.76, which means that a COVID-19 positive infects less than one person.
Notwithstanding these developments, Germany’s mortality rate is 4 percent. This figure remains high, mainly due to outbreaks that are registered mainly in nursing homes, care centers, and hospitals.