Public health experts now confirm that they believe the United States is unlikely to reach herd immunity.
A new report from the New York Times says that COVID-19 will become a “manageable threat” present across the nation for several years. Throughout the country, new coronavirus strains continue to develop too quickly for herd immunity to happen.
Instead, the virus will continue to circulate throughout the country. The hope is that hospitalizations and death counts will decrease.
“The virus is unlikely to go away,” Emory University evolutionary biologist Rustom Antia said. “But we want to do all we can to check that it’s likely to become a mild infection.”
Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious diseases expert, said he understood why experts initially thought that the United States would see herd immunity by the summer of 2021.
“People were getting confused and thinking you’re never going to get the infections down until you reach this mystical level of herd immunity, whatever that number is,” Fauci said.
Marc Lipsitch, a Harvard University epidemiologist, added that Americans receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is essential for fighting the pandemic.
However, experts like Dr. Fauci said herd immunity could happen if 70 percent received their COVID-19 vaccine. If herd immunity does not occur, the essential goal will be to lower the rate of deaths and hospitalizations.
The CDC reported that 56% of adults in the United States had received at least one dose of the vaccine, and more than 40% are fully vaccinated.