Herd immunity(Group Immunity) is the goal and reason for all countries to promote vaccination against the new coronavirus pneumonia. The United States is also one of the countries that are most actively striving toward this goal. However, the New York Times reported on the opinions of experts on May 3 that “the United States may not be able to achieve the goal of herd immunity.”
More than half of the adults in the United States have been vaccinated at least once, but scientists and public health experts generally believe that the United States will not be able to meet herd immunity standards at least in the near future.
##Two obstacles to achieving herd immunity: mutation and refusal to vaccination
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The reason for this pessimistic expectation is that a more contagious mutant virus has emerged, and some Americans have shown resistance to vaccination.
The evolutionary biologist and professor at Emory University in the United States, Lustrom Andiya said, “This virus does not seem to disappear” and “We need to do everything to control it to a level of mild infection.”
Experts, including Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), previously regarded 60% to 70% of the total population as the standard for achieving herd immunity. However, with the emergence of various mutant viruses such as the British mutant virus, which has increased its infectious capacity by 60%, the standard of herd immunity has increased to more than 80%.
But poll data show that about 30% of Americans still resist vaccination. If these people cannot be convinced, it will be difficult for the vaccination rate in the United States to meet herd immunity standards.
In addition, there are close ties between countries in modern society. Even if the United States or individual countries achieve immunity to a certain extent, infectious diseases may land in the country again at any time. Unless the whole world achieves immunization together, group immunization in individual countries is meaningless.
##Vaccination is still important
But experts believe that even if it is difficult to achieve herd immunity, vaccination is still very important. In order to control the hospitalization rate and mortality rate at a low level, there is no other way except to increase the vaccination rate. The New York Times reported that the new crown pneumonia virus may become a seasonal disease like the flu. In other words, although we cannot completely eliminate the new coronary pneumonia virus, we can find a solution to coexist with it in daily life through vaccines and therapeutic drugs.