Only 5% of Spain's Population Has Antibodies to New Coronavirus

MONDAY, July 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Only 5% of Spain's population has developed antibodies to the new coronavirus, which experts say adds to proof that herd immunity to the virus is "unachievable."

Herd immunity occurs when enough people have antibodies or are vaccinated against a disease to halt its spread, CNN reported.

The findings from a study of more than 61,000 people in Spain -- one of the European countries hardest hit by the pandemic -- suggests that 95% of the population remains susceptible to the new coronavirus. The results were published in the The Lancet medical journal.

"Some experts have computed that around 60% of seroprevalence might mean herd immunity. But we are very far from achieving that number." study lead author Marina Pollan, director of Spain's National Center for Epidemiology, told CNN.

"In light of these findings, any proposed approach to achieve herd immunity through natural infection is not only highly unethical, but also unachievable," Isabella Eckerle, head of the Geneva Center for Emerging Viral Diseases, and Benjamin Meyer, a virologist at the University of Geneva, wrote in an editorial accompanying the study.

The new findings add to an antibody study on more than 2,700 people in Geneva, Switzerland published in The Lancet in early June, CNN reported.

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