Vaccine optimism and What is needed for Herd Immunity.

I watch a 90 minute panel discussion by 4 members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Three panel members had 35 years or more in viral vaccine and immunization research. The moderator had a strong background in viral science. This panel believes there are several promising paths to a vaccine and expect 2 or more to be successful. The panel emphasized that the critical aspect will be primary care physicians communicating the case for a vaccine so Americans buy into the vaccine need.

One dangerous and disturbing development is some conservative media is pushing the notion that we are close to herd immunity. This disinformation will prove to be deadly. Covid-19 has a reproduction rate of slightly over 3. This means herd immunity will require 70% of the population to be vaccinated or have a Covid-19 infection. Today we may be at 10% based on analyzing dialysis patients. The Red Cross checks blood for antibodies, and they are finding 2% to 3%, but this segment of the population is probably more cautious than the general population. In any event we are no where near 70%. Achieving herd immunity without a vaccine means a lot more would need to die.

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