INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The United States may be on the verge of putting COVID-19 behind us.
But with overwhelmed hospitals, the pace just isn’t fast enough. Experts say we need something called herd immunity
According to the Mayo Clinic, herd immunity is defined as “when a large portion of the community becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely.”
As a result, the whole community becomes protected, not just the immunized people. The marker is expressed as a percentage. So what percentage are the health authorities aiming for?
News 8 turned to Dr. Paul Driscoll of Franciscan Health to weigh in.
“Part of the difficulty is that no one really knows what level we need to reach to have a community of herd immunity,” Driscoll said. “When the pandemic started, they were talking about maybe 60-65% of the population. But then when some of the other variants came out, they bumped it up from 85% to 90%.
If so, we’re not even close. The latest report from Our World Data shows that 76% of people have at least one dose of vaccine, 64% are fully vaccinated, but only 27% are boosted. More and more evidence shows that boosters are necessary because the protection decreases rapidly. Several studies show that antibodies decline at around six months or less.
Currently, 53% of Hoosiers are fully vaccinated.