WASHINGTON (WANE) — The COVID vaccine was initially hoped to give communities immunity. But, as time has went on, we have learned that’s not the case. Health experts had posited that herd immunity could have been achieved at a 90% vaccination rate—or, by some estimates, 70%—but that extreme vaccine resistance let the virus evolve new variants, instead.
“Early in the pandemic, there was hope that if we got people vaccinated quickly enough or enough people got infected quickly enough and that combination might get us to a point where the virus that causes COVID-19 will really stop circulating,” said Dr. Sutter, the Health Commissioner in Allen County, Indiana.
But, “it’s not looking good for herd immunity,” Sutter said, arguing that people must start to learn to live with COVID. “I don’t think very many people are hopeful for that at this point. I think the most likely thing is that it will turn into something much more like the flu, influenza, where it just circulates and we learn how to live with it.”
But Sutter said he doesn’t think things will stay exactly the same as they are now. “If you look at the 1918 flu pandemic, what you saw was big outbreaks and the numbers of people dying for the several years after 1918,” he said. “If you look at the cemeteries in the areas around here, you’ll see a lot of deaths in 1921 and 1922—those are from after shocks of big pandemic that hit the large cities. I think that it is reasonable to say that COVID-19 will run a similar course.”