Herd immunity not likely as interest in vaccines dwindles, doctors say

The lack of people now getting vaccinated is threating weather herd immunity will be reached in the U.S.
Published: May. 3, 2021 at 5:55 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Cardinal Stadium is the state’s largest COVID-19 vaccination site, capable of giving more than 4,000 vaccines a day, but doctors at UofL Health say there is a growing lack of interest in getting the shot.

“We do see a little of that trickling off and we just hope that people understand that it is important and it’s good to come out here. But are seeing demand drop off,” Dr. Hugh Schoff, the associate chief medical officer at University Hospital, said Monday.

He said last week there were multiple days that fewer than 1,000 people showed up to get vaccinated. Some days only 400 patients came.

A slowdown in immunizations is the reason that some doctors fear herd immunity will never be reached.

Dr. Mark Burns is an infectious disease specialist at UofL Health. He agrees herd immunity is unlikely because of the growing number of variants and those who are vaccine-hesitant.

“It’s very difficult to reach 70% of the people of our U.S. population getting vaccinated, so in that sense, they feel that herd immunity may not be achievable,” Burns said.

Also, Dr. Burns said that to fully wipe out the virus, the entire world must reach herd immunity; however, for now, this seems unlikely.

“Eventually we will find a cure for this as well, it just won’t be right away, unfortunately,” Burns said.

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