The threat of variants made a big difference in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic. more transmissible than Covid-19 “historic” strain, they are held accountable for the high contamination toll in France. The UK variant is about to become the dominant strain in France and is said to be found in almost half of contaminations as to February 25, 2021. As vaccination campaigns have been launched across the world, the spread of mutations is a whole new challenge. Their outbreak might question even the effectiveness of vaccines.
Therefore, scientists must review some of their conclusions. This is the case for herd immunity, the threshold to reach to make sure the epidemic can end. Until now, it was believed that it would need 60% of the world population to be immunized to the virus – following contamination or vaccination. Yet, in an interview with Journal du Dimanche, French Health Director General Jérôme Salomon says the threshold has been reviewed upwards because of variants. From this moment on, herd immunity is set at 80%. He also says that “between 15 and 20% of the French population is immunized and 5% is vaccinated”.