Herd immunity for Americans can be a difficult goal to circumvent


MONDAY, May 3, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Although more than half of American adults have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, many scientists and public health experts now believe that the disease cannot be achieved. herd immunity in the foreseeable future.

Instead, the virus is likely to become a manageable threat that will circulate in the United States for years to come, causing hospitalizations and deaths, but in much smaller numbers. The New York Times reported.

The smallest amount depends largely on how many are vaccinated and how the coronavirus evolves. The virus changes rapidly, new variants spread easily, and vaccination is moving too slowly to establish herd immunity as quickly as some experts had hoped.

“The virus is unlikely to go away,” said Rustom Antia, an evolutionary biologist at Emory University in Atlanta. Time. “But we want to do everything we can to make sure it’s likely to turn into a mild infection.”

The boost to herd immunity convinced many Americans that it was worth getting vaccinated, so vaccine skeptics can use the latest thinking of public health experts to prevent vaccination. Time pointed out. But vaccinations remain the key to turning the virus into a threat that can be domesticated, experts said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to the Biden administration, acknowledged the change in thinking.

“People were confused and thought you could never get the infections until you reach that mystical level of immunity in the herd, whatever that number is,” he told Time. “That’s why we stopped using herd immunity in the classic sense. I’m saying, forget about it for a second. Vaccinate enough people, infections will decrease.”

Initially, it was estimated that herd immunity was 60% to 70% of the population. Most experts, including Fauci, thought the United States could reach that threshold once vaccines became available.

But as the distribution of vaccines reached its peak this spring, the target of the threshold increased, mainly due to the emergence of more contagious variants of the virus. The predominant variant now circulating in the United States, called B.1.1.7 and first detected in the United Kingdom, is about 60 percent more transmissible.

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