Low and Middle Income Countries need 16 months to acquire herd immunity

THE Zimbabwean Government might be deceiving itself and more dangerously its citizens claiming herd immunity by December as an Australian top epidemiologist forecasts Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC) will need 16 months to get there.

Zimbabwe, a lower middle income country commencing the COVID-19 vaccination drive this February is upbeat it will fully vaccinate 10 million ciitizens. Latest figures show 1 673 309 people received both shots translating to a 16 percent coverage.

Professor Mary Louise McLaws speaking on France 24 last week said with Israel a low and middle income country having acquired herd immunity in eight months, other LMICs would take longer.

“If you have a look at the sensational roll out of the vaccine in Israel, they started rolling out in December. Right now after about eight months, they have up to about 70 percent of their population have had double dose.

“They are starting to see some neutralizing antibodies start weighing in and they need booster shots. So if it took them eight months, then it will take the rest of the world at least twice that.
“We are not going to get to low and middle income countries fast enough if Israel took that long to reach 70 percent,” she said.
She added COVID-19 variants will continue to pop-up with the unvaccinated at highest risk.
“Sadly, we are going to see circulating virus or variants of concern for at least another year until we can get a majority of the world vaccinated. Look, it took a long time for WHO to get polio eradicated and of course we havent seen many diseases eradicated, its very hard work. But given that this is a pandemic and everybody is thinking about getting rid of this and getting back to normal life, we should be able to vaccinate faster than polio but nevertheless its not going to happen in a year. At least a couple of years,” Prof McLaws said.
Prof McLaws said countries cannot relax not until enough, everybody in the globe vaccinated.
“And dont forget, the more people arent vaccinated, the more likely we are going to get variants of concern or variants of interest. So really its in everybody’s best interest that we get everybody vaccinated. Quite frankly we are way from that goal just yet. World vaccination rate is as I was looking at 39 percent of the total global vaccination have been vaccinated and thats not really yet high enough,” she said.

Zimbabwe’s Vice President doubling as Health and Child Care Minister Constantino Chiwenga in April said the country aims to achieve 60 percent herd immunity from COVID-19 with the vaccination of 10 million people by the end of 2021.

“Our target is to reach what we call herd immunity by year-end as we seek to get back to normal life after the devastating effects of the COVID-19,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

scroll to top