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Is Iran developing herd immunity against Covid-19?

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on July 20, 2020

No data so far to corroborate infection figures anounced by President Rouhani

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani took everyone by surprise when he said that around 2.5 crore Iranians have already been infected by Covid-19 and that the risk looms over another 3.5 crore people, as per media reports.

While the figures revealed by Rouhani are tenfold higher than the official number of 2.7 lakh cases, if it were true, then one-third of Iran’s eight-crore population is already exposed to the coronavirus. The number is enough to develop herd immunity against the virus.

According to a Moneycontrol report, so far, there is no data to corroborate the presence of antibodies in population.

When a considerable percentage of a population is infected with the virus, which is known as the threshold proportion, the transmission of the disease gets slower and it eventually vanishes.

However, there has not been any seroprevalence study in Iran, which examines the percentage of people infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Not a model for all

The report by Moneycontrol added that Iran has reached a minimum 29-30 per cent threshold, and will likely reach the herd immunity threshold in the near future. By the time a vaccine hits the market, Iran will cross the threshold of 75 per cent.

However, herd immunity may not work for every country. Sweden adopted the model and reported an unprecedented surge in the number of deaths in the country.

This is also because other factors come into play, including an aged population, healthcare infrastructure, and co-morbidities.

This also depends on for how long the antibodies last in people. If it is seasonal, then a natural herd immunity

Published on July 20, 2020

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