Invited on the set of “C’est pas tous les jours dimanche” on RTL-TVi to take stock of the epidemiological situation in Belgium, Marius Gilbert deplored the fact that some, “out of lassitude”, have often questioned the rationale for the measures taken. “It’s a very human feeling, but there is an issue that goes beyond this feeling of fatigue”, explained the ULB expert.
Marius Gilbert also returned to the strategy of collective immunity based on natural immunity, often seen as the Holy Grail. The idea is that once a certain proportion of the population has been affected, the epidemic would stop on its own, for lack of victims to strike. However, letting the virus circulate freely is dangerous, and also raises ethical questions.
“The theory of collective immunity says that we will let the weakest put at a very high risk of death so that others can live. This is eugenics”, explains the specialist. It is like letting some people die so that others can live. “Before sharing theories on collective immunity on Facebook, everyone must really think about what is behind,” advises Marius Gilbert.
Sometimes presented as a cause for hope at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and a way to avoid generalized lockdowns, the idea of letting the virus circulate to achieve collective immunity appears more and more clearly as a dangerous mirage ,
recently explained many scientists.
“Never in the history of public health has collective immunity been used as a strategy to respond to an epidemic, let alone a pandemic. It is scientifically and ethically problematic,” the director general said on Monday. from the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Giving free rein to a dangerous virus, which we do not understand everything, is simply unethical. It is not an option,” he insisted, recalling that about 10% of the population could have been infected with the virus in most countries.
To be effective, collective immunity must therefore go through “safe and effective vaccines”.