World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said exposing people to the virus to achieve herd immunity is "not an option."
“Allowing a dangerous virus that we don't fully understand to run free is simply unethical,” Tedros said, adding that herd immunity is a “concept used for vaccination.”
“For example, herd immunity against measles requires about 95% of the population to be vaccinated. The remaining 5% will be protected by the fact that measles will not spread among those who are vaccinated,” Tedros said. “In other words, herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it."
“Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to an outbreak, let alone a pandemic. It is scientifically and ethically problematic," he added.
Allowing the virus to circulate unchecked "means allowing unnecessary infections, suffering and death,” Tedros said.