IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 17th Nov 2020

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” – Dalai Lama

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Editorial Hunt is an initiative to dilute major Editorials of leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Here we choose two editorials on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC MAINS 2020-21.

EDITORIAL HUNT #245 :“The Journey to Herd Immunity | UPSC

The Journey to Herd Immunity | UPSC

The Journey to Herd Immunity | UPSC


War against virus


Herd immunity debate shows that both scientific and moral judgement matters in Covid battle.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3 : Diseases : Health


The COVID-19 situation underscores the importance of combining good science with prudent judgment to meet the needs of large populations. Comment -(GS 3)


  • Herd Immunity
  • Sero Surveillance
  • A community Approach
  • Issues and Solutions.


  • POPULATION IMMUNITY : ‘Herd immunity’, also known as ‘population immunity’, is a concept used for vaccination, in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached.

Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it.

  • THE BATTLE IS ON : In India, there are 4.89 lakh active Covid cases, 8 million of whom have recovered.

The Journey to Herd Immunity | UPSC

SOURCES : VP SLAKE SHORE HOSPTALS | The Journey to Herd Immunity | UPSC



  • CONCEPT OF HERD IMMUNITY : Originating in veterinary public health, it entered the lexicon of human health epidemiology exactly a century ago in the context of explosive diphtheria outbreaks.
  • A COMPLEX DISCOURSE : Herd immunity is continually debated in the ever complex discourse of COVID-19.
  • VULNERABLE POPULATION : Serosurvey results from across the country indicate spread of the contagion across urban and rural areas, more so in the urban and particularly among slum populations.

The common question with evidence of substantial spread is if we are closer to herd immunity.

  • END OF THE PANDEMIC : The conventional wisdom of herd immunity is that it marks the end of the epidemic.


  • COMPASSIONATE APPROACH : A “compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity” to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally , while better protecting those who are at highest risk.

Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people through vaccines and not by exposing them to disease which in his view is “scientifically and ethically problematic”.

  • COMMUNITARIANISM : The core being that human identities are shaped by different kinds of social relations in communities that shape our moral and political judgments.

We have a strong obligation to support and nourish communities providing meaning to our lives. 

  • ADAPTIVE MODEL : Japan and Vietnam are models of successfully handling the situation through an “adaptive model” in which there are substantial changes in the health system organisation and its responses appropriate to time and context.

      IASbhai Windup: 

  • NOT THE ONLY SOLUTION : Herd immunity is when the vast majority of a population are vaccinated, lowering the overall amount of virus able to spread in the whole population.
  • PROTECTING THE UNPROTECTED : As a result, not every single person needs to be vaccinated to be protected, which helps ensure vulnerable groups who cannot get vaccinated are kept safe.

The percentage of people who need to have antibodies in order to achieve herd immunity against a particular disease varies with each disease. 

Herd immunity against measles requires about 95% of a population to be vaccinated. The remaining 5% will be protected by the fact that measles will not spread among those who are vaccinated.

  • SAFE VACCINES : Achieving herd immunity with safe and effective vaccines makes diseases rarer and saves lives.
  • TALKING ABOUT HERD IMMUNITY : Until we have a vaccine, anyone talking about herd immunity as a preventative strategy for COVID-19 is not being realistic.

Most countries professed several policies to address vulnerabilities, but implementation challenges abound.

       SOURCES:   THE IE & HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | The Journey to Herd Immunity | UPSC



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