Fear of vaccines making US unlikely to reach herd immunity

During the week of April 10 Michigan hit its peak of vaccine distribution. Since then, rates have been declining.
Published: May. 3, 2021 at 5:05 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Doctor Anthony Fauci says that in order to get to herd immunity at least 70% of the population needs to be vaccinated. Debra Furr-Holden, Associate Dean of Public Health at MSU, says that is just the minimum.

“Somewhere in the order of 70%,” Furr-Holden said. “And maybe as high as 85%.”

During the week of April 10, Michigan hit its peak of vaccine distribution. Since then, rates have been declining.

“As we get the trailing off of vaccination rates per week, the likelihood that we’ll get to that number gets further away and the real goal is to get as many people vaccinated in a very short period of time,” Furr-Holden said.

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail says while we may not hit 85%, the more people get vaccinated - the less likely more variants will develop.

“It will stop if we have no place for that virus to go,” Vail said. “We reach herd immunity, there’s no host for it to replicate in. The possibility that a variant might emerge becomes less and less likely.”

Doctors agree that outreach is critical to getting the rest of the population vaccinated. Dr. Paul Entler handles quality and performance improvement for Sparrow.

“That’s going to be dependent on public awareness and trying to rapidly get people vaccinated because variants keep popping up,” Entler said. “Time is of the essence. If we’re going to do it, we need to do it.” That’s exactly what advocacy organization queering medicine is trying to do.

Francis Yang represents the organization Queering Medicine.

“Some individuals within Queering Medicine have also shared our own individual experiences about getting the vaccine,” Yang said. “We think that that might connect with individuals a little bit better.”

A report in the “New York Times” today quotes biologists saying, because too many people aren’t getting vaccinated, we may have to live with coronavirus for years to come.

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