Prayer #97: For the Development of Mass Immunity to the COVID-19 Virus
Health experts are currently looking at what would be required for a so-called "herd immunity" to be established for the COVID-19 virus. Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of the community or population becomes immune to disease and thus makes the communication of the disease unlikely. As a result, the whole population becomes protected, not just those who are immune. The existence of herd immunity has been a long-understood concept in virology and disease control.
There are two ways to achieve herd immunity. One is through vaccination, and the other through sufficient infections in a given community. Many see vaccination as the best pathway to achieve herd immunity since it is achieved without infections and illnesses. This, of course, is the way that many deadly contagious diseases have been controlled, including polio, diphtheria, smallpox, and many others. There are some drawbacks to the vaccine approach, however. Protection from disease can sometimes wane over time, requiring re-vaccination. And, some people object to vaccination for religious reasons, fears about possible risks, or skepticism about the vaccine's benefits. Outbreaks can then possibly re-occur, at least in some localities.
The other avenue to herd immunity is through a sufficient number of infections in a population. Beyond the big objection that many people would need to become ill, there are other drawbacks. First of all, it still has not been established definitively that once the COVID-19 virus is contracted, a person is immune to future infection. In a fraction of people, some health authorities believe, the virus can be contracted again, although they would usually be mild cases. Secondly, there is no agreement on the percentage of the population that would need to experience infection and then recover for herd immunity to be realized. The range of estimations varies widely right now, from 43% to 70%.
Pray then, for wisdom for health experts and governmental authorities regarding whether vaccination or natural infection should be used to achieve herd immunity. If vaccination is to be used, then one will need to be developed. Pray for the many possible vaccines that are in the testing phase. If a natural infection is to be used to get to the point of herd immunity, then this will require massive testing and more-relaxed protection methods, the latter of which is a fearful thing for many. Most of all, pray for God to eradicate the Coronavirus. He can sovereignly cause this virus to dissipate, even without a vaccine or herd immunity through sufficient infections.
Ps. 135:6: "Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps."