What Herd Immunity Really Means
16 min

In the U.S., enthusiasm on the right is building for so-called herd immunity, as the public grows skeptical of coronavirus vaccines. These developments could dash hopes for containing Covid-19 in the months ahead.

Proponents of herd immunity say exposing more people to the coronavirus will build protection broadly in the population. But experts say that will result in many more illnesses and deaths, and that vaccines are a safer route to herd immunity. Emma Court reports that the concept gained traction in the White House, due to the increasing influence of Trump medical advisor Scott Atlas. It was backed this month by a group of academics in a treatise titled the Great Barrington Declaration.

Nature Podcast
Nature Podcast
Springer Nature Limited
Neutrinos give insights into the workings of the Sun’s core
Scientists have finally confirmed the existence of a CNO cycle fusion reaction in the Sun, and why women’s contraception research needs a reboot. In this episode: 00:47 Detection of CNO neutrinos Since the 1930s it has been theorised that stars have a specific fusion reaction known as the CNO cycle, but proof has been elusive. Now, a collaboration in Italy report detection of neutrinos that show that the CNO cycle exists. Research article: The Borexino Collaboration News and Views: Neutrino detection gets to the core of the Sun 08:48 Coronapod We discuss the search for the animal origin of SARS-CoV-2, with researchers raiding their freezer draws to see if any animals carry similar viruses, and the latest vaccine results. News: Coronaviruses closely related to the pandemic virus discovered in Japan and Cambodia News: Why Oxford’s positive COVID vaccine results are puzzling scientists 19:32 Research Highlights How sleep patterns relate to ageing, and a solar-powered steam sterilizer. Research Highlight: For better health, don’t sleep your age Research Highlight: Technology for sterilizing medical instruments goes solar 21:50 Getting women’s contraception research unstuck Since the 1960s there has been little progress on research into women’s contraceptives. This week in Nature, researchers argue that this needs to change. Comment: Reboot contraceptives research — it has been stuck for decades 29:35 Briefing Chat We discuss a highlight from the Nature Briefing. This time, a tool to summarise papers. Nature News: tl;dr: this AI sums up research papers in a sentence Try the TLDR tool yourself! Subscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
35 min
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