‘Vaccine wall’: With denialism and reluctance rampant in the US, we may fall far short of reaching herd immunity

Credit: AJP
Credit: AJP

For the last few months, the primary focus of the U.S. has been getting shots to everyone who wants them, as quickly as possible. Soon, that focus will abruptly shift to convincing holdouts to get vaccinated.

State of play: Red states in the South are administering the lowest portion of the vaccine doses that they receive from the federal government — a sign of low demand, slow public health systems, or both.

Driving the news: An analysis released by Surgo Ventures [April 8] concluded that “the supply-demand shift for the vaccine will happen earlier than expected — as early as the end of April — and before the nation reaches the 70-90% threshold for achieving herd immunity.”

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It released a survey finding that 59% of U.S. adults say they’re either already vaccinated, or plan to be as soon as the shot is made available to them. At the current U.S. vaccination rate, all of those vaccine-enthusiastic adults could be inoculated by the end of April.

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Vaccination rates will then slow, and Surgo’s projections show that only around 52% of Americans will be vaccinated by July. When combined with people who have already been infected, the immunity rate overall may be around 65% by then — still not high enough for herd immunity.

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