Covid-19: is the collective immunity strategy through vaccination called into question in Iceland?

THE CHEKING PROCESS – In this widely vaccinated country, the epidemic is resuming, carried by the Delta variant. The last words of the Icelandic chief epidemiologist are repeated in a loop by vaccinosceptics. Is right ?

THE QUESTION. Among the many scientific concepts that have flourished since the start of the epidemic, that of “collective immunity»Holds the top of the pavement. Intuitive and attractive, the idea is that from a certain threshold of immunization of a population, the virus can no longer circulate, for lack of a sufficiently large number of hosts to contaminate to survive. With collective immunity, acquired naturally or by vaccination, the long-awaited prospect of an end to the epidemic does not exist.

The “fourth wave“In progress, carried by the Delta variant originating in India and also hitting countries among the most advanced in terms of vaccination, yet instills doubt since July. The latest example with Iceland, whose chief epidemiologist, Þórólfur Guðnason, sounded the alarm by declaring on Sunday August 8: “Obtaining collective immunity by general vaccination is elusive“. From there to seeing a failure of the vaccination against Covid-19, there is only one step, largely taken by many vaccine-skeptics, who also evoke the cases of Israel or Malta, country again highly vaccinated where the Delta variant takes off. But can we really take this step? Are vaccines really unsuccessful? Is collective immunity unattainable?

CHECKS. There is certainly no doubt that mass vaccination in these three countries has not prevented a new rebound in the epidemic, enabled by the emergence of a variant that is clearly more contagious than the historic strain and than the first ones. mutants. There is also no doubt that at this stage collective immunity has not yet been acquired. The matter is all the more delicate since, from June 21,

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