Happy Tuesday, Friends!
Recently, I wrote about COVID vaccine trials and Operation Warp Speed (OWS). A fact sheet on OWS can be found here, and the National Institutes of Health has a frequently updated page listing current COVID-19 treatment clinical trials. There is even a link to current trials for those interested in volunteering.
Today, I thought I’d talk a little bit about research studies on COVID-19 immunity and the spread of the virus.
Investigators at Stanford University recently studied over 28,000 blood samples from patients on dialysis in 46 states. From their analysis, they were able to extrapolate that about 9% in the US have any detectable coronavirus antibodies. Scientists estimate that approximately 60-70% of the population needs to have antibodies to this virus to attain herd immunity.
Though it sounds like something you might see among animals, herd immunity is simply the protection from infectious disease that occurs when a high enough proportion of (humans) in a population has become immune to an infection, either through vaccination or having had the disease previously.
Given the current fatality rate of COVID-19 (5.2% in the US, on average, compared to 0.1% for the Flu), all medical professionals acknowledge that the best path to wide-spread immunity is vaccination.
Not surprisingly, the Stanford researchers found that areas of high population density had the highest rate of previous COVID infection.