My Patients Ask — What percent of the U.S. population needs to be vaccinated to provide “herd immunity”?

The New York Times reported, “[COVID] cases are decreasing in the United States, and masks are no longer required everywhere, but the pandemic is not over – and won’t be until younger children can also be vaccinated, epidemiologists said in a new survey by The New York Times.”

The Times surveyed 723 epidemiologists, most from the Society for Epidemiologic Research and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, and found that the consensus among the respondents is that it will be safe to resume most activities without precautions when at least 70 percent of the population has been vaccinated.

As of May 18, 2021, 157,827,208 (47.5%) of Americans had at least one shot, while 123,828,224 (37.3%) are fully vaccinated.

The only age group in the U.S. with herd immunity are those 65 years of age or older where 39,814,913 (72.8%) have been fully vaccinated.

This blog was accurate as of the day of posting. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolves and the scientific community’s understanding of the novel coronavirus and the COVID vaccine develops, the information above may have changed since it was last updated. While I aim to keep all of my blogs on COVID and the COVID vaccine up to date, please visit online resources provided by the CDC, WHO, and your local public health department to stay informed on the latest news.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2021. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.


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