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24 February 2021

Peter Kirkpatrick – SOUTH AFRICA

The article in the Wall Street Journal about the USA potentially being close to achieving herd immunity was insightful, albeit insanely unpopular with the rest of the medical fraternity in the USA. I have to ask the same question in South Africa, how close are we to achieving herd immunity?
The research in the pre-natal clinics in Cape Town was showing anti-bodies in early 40% of the patients in August 2020 and a recent dataset of the blood donors of the EC, KZN and Northern Cape showed more than 60% of the sample had anti-bodies.
Surely we should be really focusing on this type of testing to be able to ascertain on who to give vaccines to and how much do we actually need? The recent drop-off in COVID-19 infections is really dramatic and cannot be attributed to any measures that were introduced by government, because they didn’t work before (twice!). Why are we not testing our medical staff first for COVID-19 antibodies, before summarily vaccinating them with a new vaccine that could cause more harm than good. I suspect that if we have achieved herd immunity, the political fall-out of the complete failure of the lockdown approach to dealing with the COVID-19 epidemic would be really serious, despite it being really good news for the country.