As many of us have become armchair experts in virus transmission and ‘flattening the curve’, it’s easy to feel like we’re drowning in information about COVID-19. Although new aspects of the virus continue to emerge daily in the terrifying living laboratory the world has become, there is still so much we don’t know. As we grapple with the enormous disruption the virus has brought, what have we found out so far? Is a vaccine really on the horizon?
Nicholas Fisk, UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), hosts a panel of medical experts, Rebecca Guy, Anthony Kelleher, Raina MacIntyre and William Rawlinson, as they discuss what we need to discover or invent to make sure we are better equipped to face the future.
The term herd immunity has been bandied about in a very misinformed way, it’s a term that comes up from vaccination not natural infection. If natural infection got rid of infections we wouldn’t have measles. We wouldn’t have needed to vaccinate against small pox it would have just eradicated itself. But unfortunately that’s not what happens, you just get recurrent waves of epidemics.
The real question is: are you immune post infection, if you are for how long and how do we measure it? If we could answer that we could establish a population of immune people and we could give some guarantees.