Did anybody even claim that herd immunity is about immunity being “transmitted” from one person to another? You spend some time in your article arguing against that, but it’s a straw man. I don’t think anyone credible believes it or has proposed it.

The point is that herd immunity occurs when there are enough immune people that a virus finds it hard to spread, and therefore has a much lower chance of ever reaching the non-immune people.

Moreover, herd immunity is not defined as necessarily involving vaccination. Obviously a large-scale vaccination programme will speed it up and might virtually guarantee it, but it can occur naturally.

Barnaby is a journalist based in Suffolk, UK. By day he covers science and public policy; by night, film and classical music. He has also been a cinema manager.

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