Tag Archives: Herd

US hopes of herd immunity from Covid 'unlikely' due to vaccine uptake, say experts

The Centre of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 246,780,203 Covid vaccine doses have been administered, with 105,523,520 people given both doses. But Dr Anthony S. Fauci, US President Joe Biden’s top adviser on Covid, acknowledged experts have accepted herd immunity is not likely to be achieved.
Dr Fauci shared how US medical experts have changed their goals from herd immunity to controlling through vaccines.

He said: “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.

“That’s why we stopped using herd immunity in the classic sense.

“I’m saying: Forget that for a second.

“You vaccinate enough people, the infections are going to go down.”

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Rustom Antia, an evolutionary biologist at Emory University in Atlanta, told the New York Times Covid variants mean continued vaccinations will be critical to limiting the severity of outbreaks, if not their frequency.

He told the outlet: “The virus is unlikely to go away.

“But we want to do all we can to check that it’s likely to become a mild infection.”

Dr Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, also told the outlet vaccination coverage varies from area to area, and added: “Disease transmission is local.

“If the coverage is 95 percent in the United States as a whole, but 70 percent in some small town, the virus doesn’t care.

“It will make its way around the small town.”

Mr Biden will give an update later today on the country’s progress in curbing Covid, after admitting confusion on whether herd immunity is achievable.

The President was asked by a reporter about herd immunity, to which he replied: “There’s a debate about what constitutes herd immunity.”

But Mr Biden also said “by the end of the summer, we’ll be in a very different position” regardless of the precise percentage of immunity in the US.

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It comes as CDC data shows around two in five Americans have been fully vaccinated against Covid.

In the US, 105,523,520 people have been given both vaccine doses as of Monday morning, which is equal to around 31.6 percent of the population.

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC: “We’re not going to get everyone vaccinated.

“If we can get two-thirds of the population vaccinated or a little bit better than that, that’s going to be a pretty good level of protection.”

Over the last week, the US has averaged 2.4 million reported vaccinations per day.

Data from Johns Hopkins University also shows the rate of infection is falling in the US, with an average of 49,000 cases per day.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

Analysis: Returning to normal before the Texas herd has immunity

As efforts to vaccinate Texans and keep the coronavirus spread under control continue, the state is rapidly opening up, with traffic getting busier and larger crowds in places that have seemed empty for the last year.

Everything from ballparks to concert venues to restaurants are filling up.

There’s a race going on, between the desire to return to a pre-pandemic normal and to get enough Texans immunized to make that a safe proposition.

At the moment, the desire to see an end to the pandemic is a lot stronger than the evidence that the end of the pandemic is near. And this week’s news about vaccines and immunizations could feed misgivings about getting the shots.

The governor of Texas is talking up the possibility that we are “very close” to herd immunity, when in reality, that condition remains well out of reach. Meanwhile, a fresh scare about rare safety risks of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — one of three that has been widely administered in Texas — is fueling some resistance to COVID-19 immunizations.

All of those things could push herd immunity further into the future.

Gov. Greg Abbott is making the end sound close at hand. It’s not. As of Sunday, 19.7% of the state’s population — about 5.7 million people — had been fully vaccinated. If you add in the number of Texans with acquired immunity from confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases — 2.8 million — that means as much as 29.3% of the state’s population is immune.

“I don’t know what herd immunity is, but when you add it to the people who have acquired immunity, it looks like it could be very close to herd immunity,” Abbott said on Fox News Sunday.

His math is faulty: The state remains far short of the 75% to 90% vaccination levels that health experts say would achieve herd immunity. And even if every adult in the state was vaccinated, the shots aren’t yet available for Texans under age 16 — about 23% of the population.

The real math: Texas is at least 13.3 million vaccinations or new COVID-19 cases away from herd immunity. The governor did say that “we’re not declaring victory,” but talking as if the vaccination job is already done is hardly an incentive to get the remaining Texans lined up for their shots.

Two days after the governor’s irrationally exuberant comments, the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine given to 6.8 million Americans was temporarily halted, as federal health officials investigate six reports of a “rare and severe type of blood clot” in women who received the shot.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people who’ve had that vaccine should contact a doctor if they experience bad headaches, pain in the abdomen or legs, or shortness of breath within three weeks after getting the shot. They paused the use of that vaccine while they’re looking at what they believe is a rare reaction.

“The odds are that you are twice as likely to be hit by lightning than to have had this rare complication. But having said that, it is a significant type of blood clot and problem, so they really need to take a look at this and sort through the information, make sure they have the best data and make sure that actually is the probability, and get as much information as possible,” said Dr. David Lakey, vice chancellor for health affairs and a chief medical officer at the University of Texas System and a member of the state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel.

Two more vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are still being administered. Officials are hopeful they can keep the momentum they’ve built in the last few weeks. It’s clear that everybody from the governor on down wants herd immunity. And to get back to normal.

We’re closer. But we’re not there yet.

Disclosure: The University of Texas System has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

Ross Ramsey
This article originally appeared on The Texas Tribune: Main Feed

Herd immunity for adults by the end of May? Austin-Travis County health officials hope to make it happen

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin-Travis County health officials say they’re hoping to achieve herd immunity from COVID-19 in adults by the end of May.

Dr. Mark Escott, the Austin Public Health interim health authority, said while adult herd immunity could happen by then, COVID-19 can still circulate in children so, in his estimation, early fall would be the earliest time the community could “relax.”

According to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard, the rolling average of new hospitalizations continues to be firmly in Stage 3 risk level at 18. There were 15 new hospitalizations reported Tuesday, and if the downward trend continues, the area could move to Stage 2 in April. The threshold for Stage 2 risk level is a rolling average of new hospitalizations under 10.

Escott is worried about a couple events that may cause an uptick in cases: last week’s spring break and the upcoming Good Friday and Easter[2] holidays.

“It is a time to get together with family. It’s a time to gather together with your church community. We have to be very careful, particularly in our Hispanic communities, because it could light a fire,” he said.

“And I don’t want that to happen. So folks that are higher risk, really need to choose a virtual option.  Other folks, if they’re going to gather together, go to church in person, please wear a mask. Please wash your hands. Please do those things to minimize your risk.”

Escott warned that despite vaccinations, high-risk individuals and those who live with high-risk individuals should refrain from gathering in-person.

About spring break, he said there hasn’t quite been enough time to determine if a spike hasn’t occurred. Once two weeks have passed, then health officials will assess the data and see what they can determine.

Austin Public Health says 180,000 people have been vaccinated by APH alone — but anyone who is currently eligible and has the opportunity is encouraged to get their shot wherever they can.

“The sooner we all get vaccinated, we all can be protected and get back to a more normal scenario,” said Cassandra DeLon, APH Chief Administrative Officer. “But this is not the time to get lax.”

Billy Gates