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NEW DELHI: The Centre on Thursday said herd immunity cannot be a strategic choice or option for a country of India’s size as this would come at a huge cost in terms of lakhs of infected people and many deaths. Following social norms till a vaccine comes is the only viable option, it said.
“In a country the size of (and with) a population like India, herd immunity can’t be a strategic choice or option,” the health ministry OSD said.
Herd immunity is ‘still far away and in the future’: Government
In a country the size of (and with) a population like India, herd immunity cannot be a strategic choice or option. It can only be an outcome, and that too at a very high cost, as it means lakhs of people would have to be infected, get hospitalised and many would die in the process,” officer on special duty in health ministry Rajesh Bhushan said.

The comments come in the wake of rising number of cases and arguments being advanced by some researchers that there may be hope of developing a herd immunity soon based on results of sero surveys and the overall low infection rates in India. The health ministry, however, said herd immunity is “still far away and in the future”, while emphasising that adopting a “Covid- appropriate behaviour” is the only option till a vaccine is developed. “For now, we have to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour like wearing masks, avoiding gatherings, following hand hygiene and maintaining a distance of two yards,” he said.

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