Over 60% of the urban population in Romania reached herd immunity, MedLife study says
The degree of collective immunity at urban level is over 60% of the population, respectively between 6 and 7 million inhabitants, only in the cities that represent 54% of the Romanian population, says the latest MedLife study conducted to assess the degree of immunization acquired naturally or following vaccination, in Romania, at the urban level.
That means that half of the small urban population and a third of the large urban population was infected with the novel coronavirus, nine times more and three times more than the official statistics. This situation also explains the substantial decrease in cases over the last month.
The research was conducted on a representative sample of 943 people, residents in cities with different characteristics in terms of vaccination rate and infection rate: Bucharest, Cluj, Constanța, Timisoara – area 1, respectively Giurgiu, Suceava and Piatra Neamț – area 2.
“We release the results of a new research approach carried out entirely from our own resources and exclusively with MedLife doctors and specialists. The data show that the level of collective immunity only at the urban level is over 60%, respectively 6-7 million people, which indicates a major evolution of the immunization rate, given that in May last year we, MedLife, we announce, for the first time, that the immunity of the Romanian population to COVID-19 is below 2%. Moreover, if we extrapolate the data and take into account the rural environment, we are probably talking about 10-12 million Romanians who went through the disease or were vaccinated. However, it is far from the time to relax. Studies on the Delta strain show unequivocally that natural immunity, obtained through going through the disease, is not effective against the new Delta strain. Wave 4 is closer than originally thought, probably in a month at most we will have, again, thousands of cases a day because of this much more infectious strain.There is only one solution: vaccination. If the high level of natural immunization had been accompanied by an equally high rate of immunity through vaccination, Romania would probably have done very well in Europe. The vaccination campaign has proved to be excellently organized, in particular with a very good territorial coverage and availability of vaccine stocks, but there is a need for even greater communication, ie the collective involvement of all institutions, of the political class, of business people, media, artists, civil society to inform the population about the importance of this phenomenon and to increase, in the shortest possible time, the vaccination rate. If we prioritize vaccination in the next period, we have the chance to become the most important nursery in Europe for investment and tourism “, said Mihai Marcu, President and CEO of MedLife Group.
According to the study, 34% of the population under investigation in large cities has been exposed to COVID-19 infection since the onset of the pandemic. Among them, more than half were most likely asymptomatic.
Moreover, the same study shows that 50% of the population of small urban areas went through the disease, up to nine times more than official reports.
However, the situation remains worrying in Romania, given that people who have gone through the disease and have not been vaccinated have a very good chance of being re-infected with the new strains of coronavirus now in circulation.
At the same time, unlike Western European countries, the population over 60, the most exposed to severe disease, including hospitalization and even death, chose to a much smaller extent to be vaccinated.
Despite the rate of collective immunity, we are still far from the end of the pandemic, MedLife argues. Less than 10% of those who have had the disease but have not been vaccinated have a significant antibody titre.