Researchers in Israel are debating attempting a new strategy in hopes of ending the coronavirus pandemic faster in their country. It's called a "controlled avalanche", and would deliberately infect residents with COVID-19 in order to create a herd immunity, ideally avoiding more deaths.
As the pandemic continues on, the team is arguing that creating this 'controlled avalanche' could work better and faster than waiting for a vaccine to be developed. However, they are already seeing pushback from political leaders and healthcare workers that argue the idea would just be sacrificing more lives in sake of the economy.
According to Matthew Liao, director of the Center for Bioethics at New York University, the shortcut is a reasonable solution, "but it's a bad idea."
"There are a lot of other ways to reduce the economic impact," Liao said.
The Israeli researchers have proposed to only infect healthy volunteers in their 20s, 30s and 40s, while the rest of the country would have to remain on lockdown. According to their calculations, this strategy would reduce the country deaths by 43 percent because the coronavirus would eventually be up against too many immune residents, therefore causing it to virtually die out.
“Implementation of the controlled avalanche policy is thus the safest among all the possible options,” the authors concluded in the study.
Check out more details on the Los Angeles Times.