Coronavirus Vocabulary: Herd Immunity

Published On Oct 15, 2020

Hide Video Transcript

Video Transcript

Coronavirus has been teaching us a lot about infectious disease and public health. But it's also teaching us a lot of new words. I'm going to help you talk coronavirus. It really is learning a new language.

Let's start with herd immunity. What is herd immunity? Well, herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of the population becomes immune to an infection like COVID-19 so that everyone's protected, even those that don't have immunity. Most experts say the best, safest way to reach herd immunity is through a vaccine.

A more controversial way is through natural infection. This is when a sufficient number of people get sick and recover so they produce antibodies that protect them against getting sick again for At least some period of time. About 70% of the US population, more than 200 million people, would have to recuperate from COVID for herd immunity to kick in.