Spanish Study Casts Shadow Over COVID-19 Herd Immunity Theory

by Amitabh Joshi 9 months ago Views 679

A large-scale study in Spain, one of Europe’s worst hit countries by the coronavirus, has revealed the possibility that barely 5% of its population has developed antibodies. Spain, which lifted its national emergency recently, is also seeing fresh outbreaks and has recorded over 250,000 COVID-19 cases and 28,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

This study is an alarming indication for many countries who have subscribed to the theory that at least 70% of the population needs to be infected by the virus to stop its transmission and protect those who remain uninfected.


Spearheaded by Spain’s Ministry of Health, the study states that “At present, herd immunity is difficult to achieve without accepting the collateral damage of many deaths in the susceptible population and overburdening of health systems. Our results, together with previous evidence, suggest that approximately a third of people with SARS-CoV-2 infection remain asymptomatic, which has important public health implications”.


The research was carried out among 61,000 individuals from 36,000 households.

It implied that the relatively low seroprevalence observed in the context of an intense epidemic in Spain might serve as a reference to other countries.

“Additionally, our results indicate that children and adolescents have lower seroprevalence than adults and seroprevalence does not vary by sex”, the study stated.

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