What happens if we never reach herd immunity?

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 11:09 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama continues to rank the bottom in the country when it comes to vaccinations. So what does that mean for us reaching herd immunity?

Herd immunity is not likely according to UAB’s Dr. Suzanne Judd. She’s been tracking the progress and says in Alabama we’re nowhere near that 70% to reach herd immunity.

Earlier this year, health experts predicted we could reach herd immunity by late spring or early summer, but with only 28% of people in Alabama fully vaccinated, reaching herd immunity is far out of reach for now.

“We really aren’t getting to levels where we’re going to stop the cases to get to that non movement of cases,” Dr. Judd said.

What’s next? Dr. Judd says what we’re seeing now is what’s in store. Right now, Judd says we’re seeing less than 2,800 COVID-19 cases on a 14-day average.

“The one place we are not hospitalizations. I’d like to see that at less than 200 to indicate that we were at decent levels of immunity to keep the cases down,” Judd said.

Judd tells us waning natural immunity from those who became infected with the virus several months ago could cause cases to go up.

“Folks that have antibodies from the infection, we know those antibodies may fade eventually so we really need folks to continue getting vaccinated so that in the fall we are sitting right where we are right now,” Judd said.

Judd says if cases remain where they are or drop even further then we can keep Covid-19 under control. Judd tells us the virus will likely be in the community for quite some time.

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