In connection with external pathogens, the so-called immune response is increasingly discussed. In particular, the terms background immunity, cross-immunity and herd immunity are often used.

One speaks of background immunity in particular when one refers to the innate immune system, i.e. the one that is particularly active in children, as their organism is just learning to cope with the outside world and its pathogens. An as yet unpublished study from Oxford suggests that herd immunity must be less pronounced than is often assumed, since a very large proportion of humanity has a well-functioning background immunity.

By cross-immunity, experts mean the ability of the immune system to "remember" its immune response from the past and to respond adequately to subsequent new infections with viruses that are similar to the successfully fought virus, i.e. with a weak or moderate disease or even completely without symptoms. Experts suspect that the reason why children are particularly good at dealing with Coronaviruses is that they come into contact with these viruses very frequently and this acquired immunity protects them well against severe courses. This is shown in particular in a study by the Mayo Clinic.

So-called herd immunity is when so many people in a population have successfully fought off the virus that the infection rate continues to decline due to the fact that a large part of the population is already immune to it. A study published in SCIENCE sees this herd immunity already at about 40%, which is a much lower figure than is generally published by politicians and the media.


Download the Science Study:

Download the Oxford Study

Link to the Mayo Clinic Study