Measles, Vaccine Understanding coronavirus, herd immunity, and the COVID-19 vaccine
As we watch cases rise, there is a hope that potentially more americans may be floating out there who were asymptomatic, have antibodies. But what does that mean about us trying to get this under control? What might mean we have a lot more to do and here to discuss that with us? Is dr howard, foreman yale, professor and health expert, along with yahoo finances, anjali kamlani joining for the discussion and dr foreman? First, i just kind of want to couch this in the reason why we’re all hopeful to get a vaccine here, because herd immunity is the idea that you build up enough defenses around in the community to control transmission and hope that you can slow the spread of The coronavirus so what’s your take on where we’re at in that battle right now right. So first, thanks for having me on, i want to just point out: herd immunity refers to that point when a sufficient number of individuals in the community are immune to the virus. So that the outbreak can no longer can proliferate, so it can continue to spread a little bit, but it can’t continue to grow beyond that point. It’Ll start to tamp itself out over time. Naturally, once you hit that point, it should be said that, with really rare exceptions, we’ve never seen herd immunity achieved through infection herd immunity occurs with vaccination programs it’s how we’ve nearly eradicated, measles, mumps, rubella, polio and so many other things, because we do get to the Point of herd immunity and once you have heard immunity, if somebody comes into the community with measles, they might spread it to one person or two people, but it will not become an outbreak at that point and remember there you’re, starting from a point of nobody in The community having measles at that moment what people are conflating here and someone fantasizing about, is that at some natural point there will be enough people that have had coronavirus that have presumably developed immunity, which we do believe, at least in the short term develops, and that That immunity will protect them from uh, spreading it to anybody else, and at that point this will put itself out and there are a lot of reasons why i think that’s a very uh bad um.
You know fantasy to have because i think it puts us down the wrong path. Dr foreman we’ve definitely seen some of the resurgences of certain diseases because of a lack of vaccination so i’m curious on your thoughts on. You know how we overcome that right now when it comes to the coronavirus and also looking at the the waning of antibodies and how that plays a role in what we can expect. So one thing that you emphasize that is so important is that childhood vaccinations must continue and that now that in most regions of the country we’re at least in a decline in coronavirus cases and in many areas like new york, connecticut where i live, and so on, It’S at a low enough level, we must get our children back into their physicians offices, nurses, offices and get themselves vaccinated for their childhood vaccinations, because that should be paramount. We do not want to end up with a measles rubella mumps outbreak on top of what we have right now. We also must be prepared to vaccinate for flu in the coming months, so vaccinations are critically important, but the the issue with the coronavirus right now is that there may be pockets that have very, very high prevalence in an area where everybody’s immune let’s. Imagine that there’s a congregant housing in brooklyn, where 80 percent of the people have been infected, that congregate housing might have hurt immunity, but it does not protect the people in the next community over.
So if that housing is in burrow park and somebody who is currently infected goes over to bensonhurst in brooklyn or sunset uh park in brooklyn and infects that individual there you’re going to have spread in that new community, there are some communities in new york where previous Infection is probably well below 10 clearly below herd immunity levels if even one or two cases gets in there and people are not sheltering in place in one form or another. You can see an explosion of cases in one or more communities very quickly, yeah, so just to drive that point a little further here i mean what does that do for, for i mean we saw how new york’s been grappling with this, with calling for quarantine for Travelers for 14 days, i assume that must be part of it when we think about, even if there is variation within new york across the country, a lot more a lot more people exposed here in new york just off that first spike. So how should we be thinking about more? I guess travel requirements like that here in the us if we are dealing with such variation across the country – and you say having to hit that 60 to 70 percent. True immunity level here and if it’s not just going to happen through community, spread we’re going to need a vaccine. So what is the right way forward? So we absolutely need a vaccine, but in the short run we have lots of measures that function as a vaccine.
Some of them include like masking that reduces spread a little bit. Some of it is social distancing. Some of it is reducing the size of crowds inside rooms and so on, but some of it are are things like testing and testing can actually function like a vaccine. If you do enough testing and pull people out of circulation before they have a chance to spread to others, so we’ve gotten very good news. In the last couple of weeks, we’ve learned a lot more about saliva testing we’ve learned a lot more about very cheap testing. Even if it’s lower sensitivity testing, if we can scale up those technologies – and there are a lot of entrepreneurs out there and private firms out there – that are doing this – if we can scale them up substantially, so that we’re doing a few million tests a day, we Can use that to modulate the amount of movement that we each have, so maybe we can open up society even more as we test more as well, and eventually we must get to a vaccine and remember for a vaccine to work. It either has to be a hundred percent effective on 70 percent of the population, or it has to be 70 effective, 100 of the population. We know we’re not going to get more than 50 percent of the population in the first six months, let’s say at best. We would get to a number like that, so we need both the currently infected people who hopefully are immune combined with maybe some cross uh immunity from other coronaviruses, plus an effective vaccine with a lot of people using it to get to a point that might truly Protect the larger quote: herd yeah, no it’s a very good reminder here, especially as we continue to track how many americans might not be willing to take a vaccine, at least as it stands right now about a third we’ll, see what if that changes as we get More uh guidance from the fda, as well as research out on these potential candidates, but dr howard, foreman yale, professor and health expert, appreciate you taking the time, along with yahoo finances, anjali kimlani thanks again: hey investors, zach guzman! Here.