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Countries That Pursued ‘Zero-COVID’ Lockdowns Have The Least Immunity From The Virus, Report Finds

 Countries that implemented harsh lockdowns in pursuit of “zero-COVID” are now paying a price with lower population-wide immunity, according to a new analysis from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine.

The IMHE estimates that China, which currently has more than 230 million residents in lockdown due to the virus, has the lowest level of immunity to COVID-19 in the world. Russia, Singapore and Brazil are estimated to have the highest levels of immunity.

Researchers at Washington estimate immunity rates based on infection numbers, vaccination rates and the time that has passed since either of the two events. Based on those metrics, only 17.2% of the Chinese population had immunity from COVID-19 as of Oct. 31, the IMHE estimated.

Russia had an estimated immunity of 74.5%. Singapore followed at 69.9%, and Brazil at 68%.

Japan, which also implemented strict lockdown measures, had an estimated immunity of 38.9%. The U.S. currently sits at 60.5%.

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged his people to return to normal life early in the pandemic, taking the opposite approach of neighboring China and President Xi Jinping. As a result, IMHE believes 100% of Russians have contracted COVID-19 at some point.

Another factor is vaccine strength. The researchers say China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines aren’t as effective at stopping transmission as their Russian and western counterparts. 

“Russians did a good job vaccinating, and their vaccination does much better than the one used in China,” Dr. Ali Mokdad told Politico.

Despite the inconsistent results, China has continued to institute strict lockdowns at the first signs of COVID-19 outbreaks, at the cost of economic output and worker productivity.

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