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COVID-19: What is herd immunity?

Herd immunity, also called community immunity, occurs when a large part of the population is immune to a specific disease through infection or vaccination. At this stage of any disease outbreak, person-to-person transmission becomes less likely, thus helping control the pandemic/epidemic. Herd immunity has been touted as a way to stop the spread of COVID-19. But currently, we are nowhere close to having herd immunity levels needed to stop the coronavirus, said World Health Organisation (WHO) officials.

The first sero-survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in May had revealed that the nationwide prevalence of novel coronavirus infection was only 0.73 per cent. The soon-to-be-released second sero-survey also indicates that the Indian population is far from achieving herd immunity, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said during an interaction with his social media followers on 'Sunday Samvaad' platform.

How long would India take to develop COVID-19 herd immunity? Watch the video to get the answer from Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

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