A scientist interviewed by Colorado’s 9News says COVID19 herd immunity is now impossible.
Herd immunity was often spoken about during the initial stages of the COVID pandemic, but it has disappeared from the conversation as the newer variants become evident.
Doctors first stated in the pandemic that herd-immunity could be possible if around 70 percent of the population was vaccine-vaccinated or was naturally infected. Omicron Delta and Omicron have dramatically altered that goal to the point that herd immunity up to the point of eradication might not be achievable.
“The virus has now mutated, really beyond the ability to eradicate itself in the community, I’m afraid, and so we’re really now more in this consideration of endemicity of the virus,” said Dr. James Neid, Director of Infection Prevention at the Medical Center of Aurora.
“It’s clear that it is not achievable,” Neid declared.
However, the doctors believe that this virus is more of an influenza virus and continues to evolve and grow. It’s not like measles or mumps that can be completely prevented with vaccination.
With a low number of people having been vaccination-free this virus was allowed to transform.
“Two things have happened. Vaccines have been taken up significantly, but not to the threshold level that was originally proposed. Then the virus changed on us, and it keeps moving the goalposts,” Neid said.
He also said that it’s useful to think about one herd, instead of two.
“Amongst the vaccinated and boosted, I’ll be honest, I think we do have herd immunity from severe disease progression. That’s a very positive message — you are immune if you’re otherwise low risk,” Neid stated.
Neid warns that those who aren’t vaccinated should not enjoy the same level of confidence.
“If you’re not vaccinated, you’re some other herd, and we don’t know what’s going to happen to you. You’re just putting everybody around you at risk, including yourself,” the doctor stated.
Neid stated that this is a good reason to be vaccinated and increased. This reduces the chance for the virus to change and, consequently, can help us achieve some of these goals as a whole, easily within reach.
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