Herd Immunity to Coronavirus to Be Reached no Earlier Than End of Summer, Expert Says


Achieving herd immunity to the coronavirus infection in Russia, necessary to control the epidemic process, is possible no earlier than the end of summer, but this will be the immunity formed both due to inoculation and the number of infections, Chief of Medicine of the Lider Meditsiny medical center, pediatric infectious diseases specialist Yevgeny Timakov thinks, TASS reports.

“If we talk about vaccination, then by the middle of the summer we will already have a sufficient percentage of the population with immunity acquired the natural way, there will be a certain percentage of the population – most likely, this won’t be more than 20% – who got vaccinated. If we are talking about herd immunity as such, which is necessary in order to control the epidemic process, <…> given the current absence of long lines, slow inoculation process, the control over the epidemic situation won’t be established earlier than the end of summer. Yet this will be a collective effort: both of those who had the infection and those who will get vaccinated, but not earlier [than that],” the expert told TASS on Wednesday.

He also explained that largely the willingness of Russians to get vaccinated depends on their trust in vaccine preparations. The expert reiterated that as soon as the Sputnik V vaccine appeared, there was a lot of negative information because the jab was approved very quickly which caused concern of many people.

“Those who see the course of the coronavirus infection first-hand, its complications, those citizens are ready to get the shot. The majority now awaits when two other platforms – EpiVacCorona and CoviVac – will become available in sufficient amounts and will be ready to get inoculated when these vaccines will become accessible,” he noted.

The expert presumed that the sufficient volumes of EpiVacCorona would become accessible in Russia by the end of spring, while CoviVac would become widely available in the middle or late summer.

Earlier on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly called on Russians not to dismiss inoculation against the novel coronavirus. He also stated that the solution to forming herd immunity against the coronavirus infection by the fall mostly depends on citizens themselves.