A nationwide study in Spain has found that, despite being one of the hardest-hit European nations, just 5 percent of the population has coronavirus antibodies, dispelling any hopes of herd immunity in the near future.
The research, published in the widely respected medical journal The Lancet, began in April and included some 61,000 participants from a country with over 250,000 cases confirmed and over 28,000 deaths.
Herd immunity is said to occur when the majority of a population has been vaccinated or developed antibodies to fight off a particular bacterial or viral infection.
The concept of herd immunity was the main argument against the widespread lockdowns which were adopted in many countries. Sweden’s entire coronavirus response plan relied heavily on herd immunity rather than enforced restrictive measures.
According to the authors of the study, roughly 95 percent of the general population in Spain remains susceptible to infection, though there are significant geographic disparities that coincide with the original rates of infection.