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COVID-19 herd immunity could get here sooner than expected

Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 6:22 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - In order to reach a life after COVID society, scientists explained that the goal is to making our way to herd immunity.

Herd immunity has been used a lot by scientists this past year and associate professor of medicine, Dr. Kartik Cherabuddi, gave a simple example.

“You have one person who is infected and the community around them might already have immunity so it doesn’t spread further,” Dr. Cherabuddi said.

Basically, the more people immune to COVID-19 the better. Dr. Cherabuddi also said in order to get there, we need to see a decrease in infection rates, and most importantly, a vaccinated community.

“I think the speed of vaccinations and the interest in receiving the vaccine is going to be the determinator,” Dr. Cherabuddi said.

While herd immunity could be closer than expected, it will gradually occur on differing timelines, based on vaccination rates in different areas.

“One city may reach it earlier than other cities, states reaches it earlier than another state so there’s not going to be one single time point,” Dr. Cherabuddi said.

Doctors say communities can reach that herd immunity in between May and July of 2021.

“I think keeping this positive feeling in the communities saying lets get vaccinated,” Dr. Cherabuddi said. “Lets get here quicker, is a great thing.”

In a post COVID world, as long as herd immunity persists, there may not be a need for new shots every year. However, scientists are still searching for those answers.

“Will we still need a vaccine for it is unknown but I would say probably not,” Dr. Cherabuddi said.

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Even when we do come out of the pandemic, Dr. Cherabuddi explained that it’s not a bad idea to wear mask in large crowds, especially if you’re at risk.

“My grandmother whose 92 should probably wear it for a few months longer than when the rest of the community stops,” Dr. Cherabuddi said.

In the meantime, if you aren’t eligible for the vaccine now, he said to encourage those who are to get vaccinated.

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