Herd immunity (also called herd effect, community immunity, population immunity, or social immunity) is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through vaccination or previous infections, thereby reducing the likelihood of infection for individuals who lack immunity.
- Herd immunity, protect the economy, and if that means some pensioners die, too bad.
- Dominic Cummings, senior adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speaking about pandemics containment strategy on a government meeting. Coronavirus: ten days that shook Britain — and changed the nation for ever, 22 March 2020.
- Callousness, incompetence, and cynicism — the British government's response to the coronavirus has demonstrated all three. Despite the public outcry against the inhuman "herd immunity" strategy and the resulting changes in government policy, major threats to public health, living standards, and political freedoms remain.
- The Boris Johnson government's initial response to COVID-19 was the now discredited policy of "herd immunity" — the strategy of letting the virus rip through the population, infecting up to 40 million people, most of whom would recover and then supposedly be immune to the virus. The only problem was that this would have resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths — a prospect the Tories had to abandon in the face of expert denunciation and widespread public outrage.
- According to the Director-General of the WHO, the choice to abandon systematic testing and contract tracing, which were effective in Korea and Taiwan, was a major mistake that contributed to the spread of the virus in virtually every country. The ultimate cause of this alarming delay were strategic choices. [...] Other countries waited far too long to react, largely on the basis of the fatalist and crypto-Darwinian strategy of "herd immunity." Boris Johnson's United Kingdom was entirely passive in its initial approach.
- Christian Laval and Pierre Dardot, The pandemic as political trial: the case for a global commons (March 28, 2020), ROAR Magazine