Public health experts and scientists say they do not believe herd immunity is achievable in the near future due to declining levels of vaccination against COVID-19, The New York Times reports.
According to experts who spoke to the Times, the coronavirus will become a permanent but manageable threat in the United States for several more years. It is also reported that new strains of COVID-19 are developing too fast to reasonably expect herd immunity.
“The virus is unlikely to go away,”
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“People were confused and thought you would never get rid of the infections until you reached that mystical level of herd immunity, whatever that number,” Fauzi told the Times, adding that he had stopped using it for that reason. the term “herd immunity. “
“I say, forget it for a second. You vaccinate enough people, the infections will decrease, “he said.
Harvard University epidemiologist Mark Lipsic told the newspaper that vaccination is still the key to fighting the pandemic.
The high level of immunity “is not like winning a race,” Lipsic said. “Then you have to feed him. You have to keep vaccinating to stay above that threshold.”
Initially, public health experts like Fauci said herd immunity could be achieved by immunizing about 70 percent of the population. However, as new strains such as B.1.1.7, first discovered in the United Kingdom, began to appear, this number was increased to around 80 or even 90%.
If herd immunity is not achievable, the most important goal will be to reduce the rate of hospitalizations and deaths, experts told the Times, focusing on the most vulnerable populations.
“The least we want to do is get to a point where we have really sporadic small exacerbations,” Karl Bergstrom, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Washington, told the newspaper. “That would be a very reasonable goal in this country, where we have an excellent vaccine and the ability to deliver it.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 56 percent of adults in the United States have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine and more than 40 percent are fully immunized.