Collective immunity unlikely as ‘demand for COVID-19 vaccine has declined’
America unlikely to achieve collective immunity, experts warn
When will the United States achieve collective immunity against COVID-19? Experts now say that may not be the case – but that doesn’t mean the virus has to remain a ‘societal disruptor’. That’s according to a new report from the New York Times, which says there is now a “widespread consensus among scientists and public health experts” that in the United States, the “herd immunity threshold does is not achievable – at least not in the foreseeable future, and maybe never. “The report explains that if experts once thought that the United States might be able to reach this threshold when 60 to 70 percent of the population was immune to COVID-19, it is now believed that reaching 80% or more may in fact be necessary due to the spread of the more transmissible B.1.1.7 variant. This level may be out of reach, experts say, in part because of reluctance to vaccinate. These experts believe COVID-19 could continue to circulate in the United States for years to come, the Times reports, but vaccines can help turn it into a “manageable threat” that could be “seasonal, like the flu, and primarily affecting young and healthy people. “” The virus is unlikely to go away, “Emory University evolutionary biologist Rustom Antia told The Times.” But we want to do whatever we can to verify that it is likely to become a mild infection. “Epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch also told The Times that by protecting those most at risk, COVID-19 can be transformed” from a societal disruptor into an ordinary infectious disease “, while evolutionary biologist Carl Bergstrom said that a” very sensitive target “would get” to a point where we just have small sporadic surges. “Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to President Bide n, admitted to The Times that there had been a shift in thinking about this among experts, but noted that by setting aside the “mystical level of herd immunity”, if “you vaccinate enough people, infections will go down. ”Read more from the New York Times. More Stories from theweek.com5 brutally funny cartoons about Giuliani’s legal woes It’s not just the virus.