Less than 10% of the world’s population has developed antibodies to the coronavirus, and vaccination is the only way to achieve collective immunity, said WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan.
In an interview broadcast on the organization’s Twitter account, Swaminathan noted that the WHO follows studies that analyze hotbeds of infection in some cities around the world. Although research results show that sometimes at least half of the city’s population has antibodies to the coronavirus, this does not allow us to talk about achieving collective immunity.
“WHO is following these studies; at the last count, there were about 500 of them. And if you look at them together, it turns out that less than 10% of the world’s population has antibodies to this virus,”Swaminathan said.
“Of course, in some places, for example, in densely populated urban areas, there are foci in which 50-60% of the population has been exposed to the virus and has antibodies. However, this does not mean that the entire city, province, state or country has achieved collective immunity,” the expert noted, explaining that when residents of such a locality who do not have antibodies travel outside of it, they are still at risk of infection.
The only way to achieve collective immunity on a global scale is through vaccination, Swaminathan said.