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The Science of Herd Immunity

2021/04/07 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Cartoon of people wearing masks, Stanford logosThis event will feature Marc Lipsitch and be hosted by Stanford University. Learn more about the event here. Register here.

The concept of herd immunity has been applied for decades in epidemiology and public health, yet the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted new debate about the role of herd immunity in the pandemic response and confusion about what herd immunity entails.

People in public arenas have seized on scientific uncertainty in the face of an emerging disease to argue that the fastest way out of the pandemic is to allow herd immunity to accumulate through natural infection in a minimally controlled epidemic; others have argued that herd immunity can be achieved at levels far below theoretically-determined thresholds. With the introduction of safe and effective vaccines, it is important to understand how to evaluate progress toward herd immunity and what reaching herd immunity will mean within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Join a panel of experts who will explain the science of and misconceptions around herd immunity and discuss new research frontiers in immunology, infectious disease dynamics, and human behavior.


3:00 pm - 4:30 pm