US May Never Reach Herd Immunity Thanks To Anti-Vaxxers
The US may never reach herd immunity thanks to the huge number of anti-vaxxers in its population.
Yesterday, April 21, President Joe Biden announced that the US has hit its target of administering 200 million vaccine doses since he took office. The news comes just days after he revealed that everyone in the country above the age of 16 is now eligible for vaccination.
While many countries around the world are facing supply and demand issues relating to the vaccine, the US may be facing a starkly different problem.
According to its polls, approximately 61% of US adults fall into the category of those who are enthusiastic about getting vaccinated, which is a figure of around 157 million people.
As per the Center for Disease Control, more than 134 million people have now received their first dose, leaving just 23 million adults to do before reaching the ‘enthusiasm limit’.
‘At the current rate of first doses administered per day (using a 7-day rolling average, as of April 13) – or approximately, 1.7 million per day – we would reach the tipping point in about 15 days,’ KFF said on April 20.
‘Thus, on average across the country, it appears we are quite close to the tipping point where demand for rather than supply of vaccines is our primary challenge,’ it added.
KFF said that once this tipping point is reached and if more people aren’t converted to the ‘enthusiasm’ group, it will present a significant challenge to reaching the levels of herd immunity that are expected to be needed in order for the US to be able to return to a pre-coronavirus way of life.
‘Federal, state, and local officials, and the private sector, will face the challenge of having to figure out how to increase willingness to get vaccinated among those still on the fence, and ideally among the one-fifth of adults who have consistently said they would not get vaccinated or would do so only if required,’ KFF said in its analysis.
On Monday, April 19, Biden also announced a new federal programme that will allow workers paid leave when they receive their vaccinations.
‘Now our objective is to reach everyone – everyone over the age of 16 in America. No working American should lose a single dollar from their paycheck because they chose to fulfil their patriotic duty of getting vaccinated,’ he said.
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