Contagious variants vaccine hesitancy make crossing the threshold for herd immunity almost impossible.
Experts initially believed that to reach herd immunity to the coronavirus, 60% of the population had to possess immunity either via natural infection or vaccination in order for the virus to run out of people to infect. But as more transmissible variants have emerged in the past few months, that threshold has been adjusted to around 80% of the population, making the goal much more difficult since a large number of Americans are still hesitant to get the vaccine.
- Polls show that a third of Americans are resistant to getting the vaccine.
- Though it’s unlikely the US will reach herd immunity, continually vaccinating the most vulnerable people will help limit the effects of outbreaks.
- And while we may never be able to completely eradicate COVID-19, experts say the virus could be transitioned into something milder and seasonal like the common cold.