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Majority of scientists oppose concept of herd immunity: uOttawa epidemiologist

Dr. Raywat Deonandan signed an international memorandum countering arguments calling for herd immunity.
COVID-19, COVID, coronavirus, COVID-19 stock image

According to a University of Ottawa professor and epidemiologist, the majority of scientists in his field oppose the concept of trying to achieve "herd immunity" against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Raywat Deonandan, Epidemiologist, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at uOttawa, signed the John Snow Memorandum, a memo countering arguments from the Great Barrington Declaration.

The declaration calls on businesses to reopen, students to resume full in-person learning, while vulnerable residents remain in isolation, as a means to achieve herd immunity.

Dr. Deonandan feels it would be difficult to determine the full level of the vulnerable population.

"We don't know who the vulnerable are. We know the elderly, the obese, the hypertensives, the diabetics ... that's like two-thirds of the population in some parts of the world," he explains. "Are we going to protect a majority and let a minority run wild?"

Meanwhile, Dr Deonandan says the John Snow Memorandum highlights scientific evidence, showing to why scientists oppose the concept of herd immunity while signalling that there is not an equal division among those who support it.

He says it is a lop-sided division, similar to climate change, and the overwhelming majority of scientists who study in the field oppose the concept.

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