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Life may feel more normal even before herd immunity is reached

May 4, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 25.9%. 2 min read.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 02: A waiter at The Dorian serves champagne to guests who are dining outside on April 02, 2021 in San Francisco, California. According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy added 916,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate dropped to 6 percent. Leisure and hospitality jobs led the way with 280,000 new jobs followed by restaurants with 176,000 jobs and construction with 110,000 new positions. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, experts have said how crucial it is to reach some level of herd immunity. But now some say full herd immunity may not be necessary for life to look more normal.

It's a good goal, Meyers said, but she ticks off a host of factors in this particular pandemic that suggest the odds are not in its favor: vaccinating so many people would be nearly impossible; this particular virus spreads too rapidly; more contagious variants threaten to make vaccines less effective; there are entire countries and pockets of the US that have few fully vaccinated people; there are vaccine access and equity issues; children are not yet vaccinated; and about a quarter of the population is hesitant or unwilling to get vaccinated.

We really would have to have a lot of people immunized before we would eradicate this virus," Meyers said.

"We'll get there eventually, and hopefully that will be through vaccination, rather than infection, because infection can kill people," he said.

If ever the case numbers got low enough, even without herd immunity, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said last Sunday, the country will start moving toward "normality. "

It's unclear just how many people will need to be vaccinated to get closer to normal, Fauci said.

"I think we're going to need so much more of these kinds of efforts -- taking the vaccine to people, building trust with the communities," said Samuel Scarpino, an assistant professor who runs the Emergent Epidemics lab at Northeastern University.

"I think if we take that kind of attitude and get enough vaccines to people, we actually could get to the right level to make this severe disease that has been completely debilitating from a societal and economic perspective, to something that is not eradicated, but that is something more akin to the common cold, which becomes more manageable. "

by summa-bot

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