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Could vaccine demand level off before the US reaches herd immunity?

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North Dakota’s Chief Health Strategist Dr. Joshua Wynne says vaccination rates are slowing.

The demand could level off with 52% of the population inoculated, according to a recent survey from Surgo Ventures. That’s far from the at least 75% needed for herd immunity.

Dr. Wynne says that doesn’t include those that are protected from actually catching the coronavirus, so the percentage should be higher, but he’s not sure by how much.

He adds, while herd immunity would be best, any percentage means less transmission in our communities.

I asked Dr. Wynne, as the virus continues to mutate, if not through herd immunity, how does this pandemic end?

“So you’ve hit my biggest concern, which is if we don’t really stamp this out, and that is to get to the ideal level where it just can’t survive anymore, I’m very concerned about the emergence of variants that could be, not only more transmissible and more virulent but evade the vaccine,” he responded.

Dr. Wynne now anticipates those vaccinated will need a booster shot at some point to protect against these emerging variants.

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