Skip to Content


Digital Features

COVID-19: U.S. probably won’t reach herd immunity, but that’s okay

May 11, 2021 17:40 PM UTC

Fortune’s Sy Mukherjee explains why.

the debate and what constitutes herd immunity Is that 70 of the population is 68 is 81 at the beginning of the pandemic. There was a lot of emphasis on reaching Herd immunity um in order to contain the coronavirus, but experts have been sort of shifting their approach to this because realistically we're not going to be able to get to the numbers um necessary to achieve herd immunity, but we may not need to. Her community is the concept that if enough of a population is immunized against a specific pathogen, it can actually transfer protection to people who may not be able to get vaccinated, who are at higher risk of having severe disease from a specific virus, like the coronavirus. And so it's basically a transitive public health protection. I would like to get people away from this concept of referring to something that is very elusive in its definition. In order to reach herd immunity, you would need something like 70, 80 90 of the population that is immunized against the coronavirus. A large part of the reason that it's going to be difficult to reach those kind of lofty figures when it comes to her community is that there's a fair share of the population that are not interested in getting vaccinated. There's still something like one in five people who said that they will not get a vaccine. There have been some experts who have said that Even getting somewhere between like 50-60 of the population immunized, you're going to see a dramatic decrease in the number of cases, the number of hospitalizations and the number of debt. And that's like a cascading effects cases lead to hospitalizations, hospitalizations lead to death vaccinations, prevent all that at the beginning of the show. Um, and so that's kind of what the most important focuses at this point. President joe biden and I firmly believe that what we do now will determine our collective future. And that is certainly true in regards to the pandemic preparedness and response. The United States has done an amazing job at getting shots into arms. You know, we've got hundreds of millions of people that have gotten doses and are fully vaccinated. The biggest thing is how does this work on a global level. There are a lot of countries that have not been as fortunate as we have when it comes to this immunization campaign. And a virus does not know any borders. It doesn't care if you're from Arizona or India or South Africa. It doesn't care right. Its only purpose is to survive. And so it takes a concerted effort to make sure that it doesn't mm