New Delhi, July 30:

 India cannot count on herd immunity to stop the coronavirus pandemic given its demography and scale, the Health Ministry said on Thursday, adding that the country will have to rely on a vaccine to fully beat COVID-19.

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“Herd immunity is an indirect protection from a disease. This saves a population from a disease. But it develops when a vaccine is developed or when a population has already suffered and recovered from it. Heard immunity in India is not an option. It can only happen after a vaccine has been developed,” the health ministry said.

Herd immunity refers to the situation when the transmission of a virus is stopped naturally when enough of the population becomes resistant to it and not enough people are able to transmit it.