Fauci predicts U.S. can reach herd immunity by late summer, early fall

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday said the U.S. could see a return to normal by early fall, or even before we reach herd immunity.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert says 70 to 85% of the U.S. population could be vaccinated against COVID-19 by late summer or early fall, but even before then, people may see things return to a pre-pandemic normal.

“You don’t have to wait until you get full herd immunity to get a really profound effect on what you can do,” Dr. Fauci said.

Herd immunity is when a large part of the population is immune to a specific illness, leaving the disease with little or nowhere to go, and effectively ending mass infections.

Many experts have noted that the pandemic truly will not be over until there is herd immunity, which can come with increased vaccinations.

Though, there are sill many people who remain vaccine hesitant – and Fauci warns that could affect when the U.S. reaches the end of the pandemic.

“If a significant number of people do not get vaccinated then that would delay when we would get to that end point,” said Fauci.

The nation’s top infectious disease specialist says herd immunity for COVID-19 is lower than that of the measles, which is 90%.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky notes that only 10% of the population is fully vaccinated, but the agency is anticipating loosening federal guidelines as more people receive shots.

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