Doctor claims US could reach herd immunity if 20 per cent of population get Covid vaccine
Dr. Marty Makary will speak about the coronavirus on Monday, December 21, 2020.
A public health expert has claimed the U.S. could achieve herd immunity after only 20 percent of the country's population received the coronavirus vaccine.
Dr. Marty Makary, a professor of surgery and health policy at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, told Fox News' The Story on Monday night, "There is a wrong construct" about the vaccine.
"There is a recommendation that we must vaccinate every American to get the pandemic under control," said Dr. Makary on Monday.
“The reality is that around 25 to 50 percent of Americans have had an infection and have natural immunity.
"Now we don't know if that's a little better, a little worse, or the same thing as vaccinated immunity, but ... we may only need to immunize another 20 percent of the population by February or March to really immunize when you reach those 70 -percent herd immunity, "he added.
Herd immunity is a concept in which the majority of the population is immunized to a disease through vaccination, which slows the spread of the virus and protects those who have not yet received treatment.
The key to this concept, according to the World Health Organization, is mass vaccination: "Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it."
It is still unclear how long immunity will last after being infected with the coronavirus without vaccination, as there have been several cases of Covid-19 re-infection worldwide.
Research at King's College London found that the levels of antibodies that kill the coronavirus in the body decrease over a period of three months after infection. However, according to the BBC, a second infection is believed to be milder than the first.
The US began rolling out a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech earlier this month, while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a separate moderna emergency vaccine last week.
At least eight million doses of the vaccines are expected to be launched in the U.S. this week, according to General Gustave Perna, chief operating officer for Operation Warp Speed.
President-elect Joe Biden, who received his first dose live on TV Monday, has vowed to distribute 100 million coronavirus vaccines in the U.S. during his first 100 days after his inauguration on Jan. 20.
However, recent figures from the Kaiser Family Foundation's Health Tracking Survey showed that 42 percent of Republicans said they would likely not get any, or definitely not, coronavirus vaccine.
Dr. Makary said he "respects" those who choose "not to have the vaccine currently under emergency clearance," but clarified that the vaccines are "incredibly safe".
He added, "There were no preventable serious adverse events, and if you do as many statistical tests as the FDA checked with the number zero, the result is still a zero."
There are now more than 18 million people in the United States who have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University. The death toll has reached 319,466.
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