Herd immunity is the point where there’s enough people that have been either infected or vaccinated that you basically can’t sustain transmission in the community and if one case leads to less than one new infection, then eventually it can’t be sustained. Estimates vary on how much of the population needs to have immunity to reach that goal. Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said herd immunity might be reached if 70-85% of people are immune. Board-certified internist Dr. Jorge Rodriguez estimates that number is about 85-90%.
But here’s the thing: no one younger than 16 can get a coronavirus vaccine in the United States right now. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is authorized for those age 16 and older, and the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are authorized for adults 18 and older. As of this writing, all three vaccine makers are conducting vaccine trials with children with a goal of providing vaccines for high school and middle school children by fall 2021 (younger children will likely have to wait until early 2022).
A big reason we might never reach herd immunity is because not enough people are willing to get vaccinated. There is a distrust in the science, the government, rumors of microchips, infertility, etc. all of which are inaccurate. Take the time to educate yourself and your staff on the risks of NOT getting vaccinated. Share the stories we have all read about and some of us have lived through. Do what you can to encourage participation in the vaccine clinics and rewards will be enjoyed by all!
Stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!