Prof. Ganiyu Arinola, an expert in Immunology has said easing the lockdown in Nigeria will not provide herd immunity against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Arinola expressed his view with Journalists in Ibadan.
A herd immunity also known as community immunity can slow or stop the spread of a viral disease and happens when a large percentage of people develop immunity to a disease, either by catching it or through vaccines.
According to the Immunologist, pursing herd immunity without a vaccine may not work because scientists do not know how long immunity to COVID-19 would last in a previously infected person.
“Herd immunity is not the answer to stop or slow the spread of COVID-19, because natural immunity doesn’t give effective herd immunity as much as vaccinations.
“Presently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19, and coupled with the fact that the disease is relatively new, therefore, the Coronavirus immune responses is still under study.
“The pathogenesis is not well understood, hospitals and healthcare systems may be overburden, if many people develop COVID-19 at the same time.
”The disease is too deadly to experiment with herd immunity without a vaccine. There is no specific drug to treat COVID-19 till date.
“Due to lack of herd immunity for the virus, there will be high rate of community transmission, thus relaxing lockdown in Nigeria may be a mistake,” he said.
Arinola expressed fears that the government’s relaxation of the lockdown may result in mass infection.