The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that less than 10 per cent of the global population has antibodies to the coronavirus, said WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan.
Swaminathan said in a Sunday interview, released on the official WHO Twitter handle, “Less than 10 per cent of the world’s population actually has antibodies to this virus. Of course in some settings, like particularly in the very high-density urban settlements, there are pockets where 50, 60 per cent of the population has been exposed to the virus and has antibodies.”
The WHO chief scientist stressed the only way to achieve mass herd immunity is through vaccination.
The currently approved vaccines offer good protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death from COVID-19, according to Swaminathan.
The vaccines’ effectiveness with regard to mild disease and asymptomatic coronavirus infection is still being studied.
More than 114 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed globally since the start of the pandemic last spring.
The global COVID-19 death toll stands at over 2.5 million, according to Johns Hopkins University data.