The term “immunity debt'' was coined and first mentioned in an opinion paper published in August 2021.
The author discusses the possibility of an immunity gap from the COVID-19 sanitary measure and the importance of vaccination to prevent outbreak.
Misinformers are now using this idea of “immunity debt” to suggest that the COVID-19 public health measures have weakened people’s immune systems by preventing them from being exposed to pathogens.
There are 2 problems with how they use this idea.
Your immune system was not off duty for the past 2 years. It was still exposed everyday to a multitude of microbes.
Our immune system does not weaken if it is not challenged for a while like muscles do.
However, our immune system might have limited exposure to certain pathogens that cause seasonal illnesses and this is especially true for children.
Right now, many children are struggling with RSV, a common cause of respiratory infection in infants.
Pre-pandemic, children were mainly exposed to RSV throughout the fall/winter. Now that most sanitary measures are lifted, many children are being exposed to RSV:
- For the 1st time.
- All at once
High hospitalization rates in children are potentially due to a combination of different factors.
There is a shortage of over the counter pain & fever reducing medicine for children right now in Canada. Without these medications to manage the symptoms of viral infection, concerned parents turn to hospitals and clinics for help instead.
COVID-19 infections have been associated with disruption in the innate and adaptive immune responses in some populations, which could increase the susceptibility for subsequent infections.
What can you do to help?
Make sure that your family is up to date with their vaccines.
If you are experiencing any symptoms:
-Wear a mask
-Wash your hands
Any questions? Let us know in the comments.