Herd Immunity? Health experts say it is unlikely

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 5:16 PM EDT
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LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - The U.S. is making promising headway in its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, but some national health leaders believe herd immunity is unlikely.

In Laurel County, most of the adults that want vaccine already received it and that equals out to 21% of the population.

Right now, top national health leaders say the goal of 70% or 80% of people vaccinated to reach herd immunity in the U.S. probably will not happen.

Back in Laurel County, less than 10 people each day are getting vaccinated at the Laurel County Health Department. This is in comparison to the last few months, where health officials say they were seeing about 100 each day.

“We are probably vaccinating 10 persons a day. Three to four weeks ago, maybe a couple of months ago, we were vaccinating 80 to 140 persons a day,” said Mark Hensley with the Laurel County Health Department.

Last week, a FEMA operation center opened in London with a goal to vaccinate 250 people each day. While officials will not release any numbers, they say it was fewer than expected.

“It could be the fact that a person was thinking ‘Well, we might be through this thing, so we don’t need the vaccine’,” said Hensley.

Ed Minton received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Monday and believes others hesitant about it should go ahead and get it too.

“I really do, whether you believe it or not, you should. Because if you’re tired of wearing one of these (points to mask) for so long, and you’re tired of not being able to go out, stuck in the house all day? Get it,” said Minton.

An infectious disease doctor said the vaccine works as 147 million people received the vaccine and out of those only .00001% of people have died from COVID-19. Most of those had other numerous health issues.

“If you don’t want to get your vaccinations, stay in the house. Let those that want to do what they want to do get it, if you don’t want to get it, stay in the house,” said Minton.

Health leaders think a third booster shot is needed to combat new variants of the virus. This follows new research that shows vaccinations is likely needed annually.

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