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Infographic – Major Cities Far Short of Herd Immunity

Herd immunity chart

Click on image for full-size view (Statista)

30 May 2020. A key public health goal during the Covid-19 pandemic is achieving herd immunity, where a large majority of the population is immune from the coronavirus. The New York Times this week compiled data from eight different estimates of antibodies against Covid-19 infections, displayed in graph form yesterday by business data research company Statista.

The data show in major American and European cities, as well as Wuhan, China, the percentage of the population with antibodies against the coronavirus is still far short of the minimal benchmark for herd immunity: 60 percent of the population. New York comes closest at 20 percent, followed by London at 18 percent. Madrid, Wuhan, Boston, Stockholm, and Barcelona range for 11 to 7 percent. The data come from population estimates by public health authorities of people who recovered from infections and carry antibodies against further infections.

Herd immunity, also known as community immunity, is a state where a large enough segment of the population is immune from the virus to prevent the virus from easily spreading from one person to another. People with medical conditions that make vaccinations difficult, such as allergies or compromised immune systems, are often protected with herd immunity. Despite community spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing Covid-19 infections in these cities, however, herd immunity is still far off, pointing up the urgent need for a vaccine.

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