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Covid-19 Pandemic in EU: Dr. Hansen explains why herd immunity remains elusive

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EU chief Ursula von der Leyen lauded the fact that 70 percent of adults in the EU were now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, reaching an end-of-summer target the bloc set for itself in January. "Today we reached an important milestone in our vaccination campaign. Seventy percent of adults in the EU are now vaccinated," Von der Leyen said in a video posted online. Now that the EU has reached the threshold of 70 percent, is herd immunity, and the pandemic's end, now in sight? Dr. Jan-Cédric Hansen, Vice President of Global Health Security Alliance, explains to France 24 that while we should be "grateful" for this crucial milestone, we must remember what we're still missing: there needs to be a uniform EU policy to battle the virus as well as a mass vaccination effort that will "protect the population as a whole." Dr. Hansen points out that "we have tremendous amounts of youth who are not vaccinated so far." This could effectively trigger, Dr. Hansen warns, "a reservoir for the virus to spread, and it is most likely that the virus will adapt to the population that it can touch and contaminate." But for Dr. Hansen, the biggest obstacle to achieving herd immunity is that "this family (of virus) does not trigger naturally neutralizing antibodies, which means that this family of virus does not trigger herd immunity naturally." So vaccination is key, concludes Dr. Hansen, "It is not appropriate to believe that natural infection will provide a herd immunity. That's why we need a new generation of vaccines in order to elicit the herd immunity that we're looking for."

Added on the 02/09/2021 19:48:29 - Copyright : France 24 EN

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