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Herd immunity

A new article on “herd immunity” is now available in The Conversation. It took me a couple of weeks plus quite a lot of research into history and different aspects of this concept. There is also a more technical article available on this blog. I am also hoping that at some point there will be an online tool to explore simple models of herd immunity; an extension of the model for the second wave.

I was particularly keen on getting the last section right. Herd immunity is a very powerful concept, but also one that is badly misunderstood and dangerously misapplied.

At the end of the day, it is about a potential conflict of interest between an individual and the “herd”; something that can possibly be resolved, but only in a very careful way. This is particularly important for vaccination and I understand where (at least some of) the opponents of the mass vaccination programmes come from. But this is probably a topic for another story, another day.