Herd Immunity – Vaccines – Mask Forever?

Angie SzumlinskiFeatured, Health

Dr. Anthony Fauci displayed his trademark bluntness in an address to the medical community at Thomas Jefferson University, warning against premature hopes of “herd immunity” to COVID-19. It remains a puzzle why some people get very sick yet most do not and it remains difficult to predict which are which although genetics and previous exposures to viruses may both play a role. Everyone wants to achieve “herd immunity” (the point where enough people have immunity that society can return to normal) but the way to do that is with a vaccine, not by letting the disease spread unchecked he said.

When asked about vaccines, Dr. Fauci said he doesn’t want the public to expect a “knockout punch” from a vaccine and then be disappointed, possibly leading them to be less enthusiastic about getting it. He predicted that by the end of November or December, scientists may have evidence of efficacy for at least one vaccine, setting the stage for public distribution in early 2021.

When asked how long masks and social distancing will be needed, Fauci said that if the vaccine is 70% effective and if some people resist taking it, it will be months before society reaches herd immunity. He feels strongly that we’re going to need to have some degree of public-health measures through 2021 and into 2022.

Maybe it is time to purchase more masks, invest in additional bottles of hand sanitizer, and sharpen your on-line holiday shopping skills! Stay well, stay safe, and stay tuned!