On the ‘that ship has sailed’ note, I could blog about:
- An orderly and humane withdrawal from Afghanistan
- Reversing all the effects of climate change to date
- Herd immunity against COVID-19
Today I am going to stick with what I know a LITTLE about and that is herd immunity to COVID 19.
What is herd immunity?
Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community (the herd) becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. As a result, the whole community becomes protected — not just those who are immune.
In the early days of the vaccine, there was widespread ‘hope’ that we would achieve herd immunity to COVID 19 because enough people would be vaccinated or already infected to stop the spread.
Herd immunity is a pretty tough nut to crack for many diseases. For measles, it requires 95% of people in a community to either be vaccinated or immune to the disease. Due to vaccine hesitancy and other factors, we are seeing sporadic outbreaks of measles these days.
Here is a post from the Lung Association about herd immunity and COVID.
For COVID-19, the percentage of the population that needs to be immunized or infected to achieve herd immunity is estimated to be between 70% and 90%, and this is assuming lasting immunity is possible. And with the Delta variant, the percentage is likely at the higher end.
Are we going to achieve herd immunity to COVID 19 in the U.S?
Not bloody likely since slightly less than half of the eligible US population is fully vaccinated (as of 8/3/21)!
My prediction is that we will do our best to live with and manage COVID 19 like a bad flu. We have learned how with seasonal flu and manage it with ever changing yearly vaccines. I imagine that we will also need new COVID 19 boosters each year or so to deal with the changing variants. And masking up in certain circumstances may become the norm.
And like the flu vaccine, the COVID vaccine probably won’t necessarily prevent infection, but will hopefully prevent most hospitalizations and deaths.
This prediction could be completely off base and maybe this new virus will recede into the background or behave in ways that we never expected. Anything is possible!
I don’t want to end the week on a totally grim note, so I am ending with a flower. The photo on today’s post is of a hydrangea in our neighborhood. I thought it was spectacular and wanted to share it.
“There are always flowers for those who want to see them”Henri Matisse