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Articles on Herd immunity

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Viewing immunity as a carpet that we weave together evokes labour and artistry, and suggests we have a role in crafting something rather than simply being acted upon by a virus. (Shutterstock)

How we think about immunity can help us navigate COVID-19 risks together

The metaphor of a collective “carpet of immunity” invites us to imagine immunity as a collaborative project, spreading out to protect those for whom the end of mandates means increased vulnerability.
B.C. Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon has his COVID-19 vaccine QR code scanned in September, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Pandemic vaccine passports in Canada: A brief history and potential future

Vaccine passports became one of the most divisive issues of the COVID-19 pandemic. These policies were affected not only by public opinion but by new variants and changing goals for herd immunity.
Preliminary research suggests that the omicron variant may potentially induce a robust immune response. Olga Siletskaya/Moment via Getty Images

Is the omicron variant Mother Nature’s way of vaccinating the masses and curbing the pandemic?

Some of the omicron variant’s unique properties – such as its ability to spread rapidly while causing milder COVID-19 infections – could usher in a new phase of the pandemic.
The list of SARS-CoV-2 variants – each with its own unique qualities that give it an edge – just keeps growing. Matt Anderson Photography/Moment via Getty Images

Alpha then delta and now omicron – 6 questions answered as COVID-19 cases once again surge across the globe

People are buzzing with questions about the omicron variant and whether it could help usher in herd immunity. A team of virologists deciphers the latest findings.
The best way to stop new variants from arising is to increase the proportion of vaccinated individuals while maintaining infection prevention measures like wearing masks and social distancing. (Shutterstock)

Omicron: Vaccines remain the best defence against this COVID-19 variant and others

Even with a variant like Omicron that may be more transmissible than earlier variants, vaccines remain the most effective tool for protection against COVID-19 and for ending the pandemic.
With the holiday season approaching, people wait to receive a COVID-19 vaccination in Montréal as the pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Answers from COVID experts: How do you talk to family members who aren’t vaccinated? How can the vaccines be safe if they were developed so quickly? Is natural immunity better than being vaccinated?

A panel of experts answer questions about vaccines, omicron and other COVID-related issues in a discussion with The Conversation.
Young children are rolling up their sleeves to get vaccinated, protecting themselves against COVID-19 and helping to curb the pandemic. (Dasantila Golemi-Kotra)

Children ages 5 to 11 are getting COVID-19 vaccinations: What this might mean for the holidays and the Omicron variant

The participation of five-to-11-year-old children in vaccination programs will make 90 per cent of the population eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Experts estimate that close to 90% of the U.S. population must be vaccinated to reach herd immunity for COVID-19. David McNew/AFP via Getty Images

What is herd immunity? A public health expert and a medical laboratory scientist explain

Vaccination campaigns like the ones that eventually eliminated polio and measles in the United States required decades of education and awareness in order to achieve herd immunity in the U.S. population.
Protesters gather at Indiana University in June 2021 to demonstrate against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for students, staff and faculty. SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Forceful vaccine messages backfire with holdouts – how can it be done better?

Subtly shifting the crafting and delivery of public health messaging on COVID-19 vaccines could go a long way toward persuading many of the unvaccinated to get the shot.
Intensive care physicians are yet again facing ICU bed and staff shortages as severe COVID-19 cases rise. gorodenkoff/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Medicine is an imperfect science – but you can still trust its process

A critical care doctor brings a frontlines perspective to the frustration of dealing firsthand with vaccine hesitancy and discusses the limitations of science and medicine.

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