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Why 70% COVID-19 vaccination rate does not guarantee herd immunity

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According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the city of Chicago received approximately 65,000 initial doses during the week of March 15.

“Our limiting factor is the number of vaccines we have,” says Fricchione. “No matter how effective, if you don’t have enough, you really need to put it in the right place to break the chain of transmission.”

This is one of the reasons cities and other jurisdictions prioritize older people in vaccination campaigns. According to the Chicago Public Health Service, vaccination of the elderly has the greatest impact on preventing death from COVID-19, regardless of the underlying medical condition.

Based on Chicago data, vaccination of 17,000 people between the ages of 18 and 29 will prevent the death of COVID-19, while the city will vaccinate 49 people over the age of 80 for COVID- Prevents the death of one of the nineteen.

“If one of the average people in the community gets infected with COVID, we need to think about how many others will get infected before we can improve ourselves,” says Daudi.

In addition to targeting communities with high rates of infection and mortality, health authorities should reach communities with a large number of essential workers and crowded housing, among other indicators of social vulnerability. The focus is on, says Fricchione.

“These are communities where a single dose of vaccine has a far greater impact on the chain of infection,” says Fricchione.

Adding another layer of complexity is the fact that herd immunity is not steady state. This is not the case, especially for COVID-19, as the exact duration of immunity provided by vaccination and spontaneous infection is still unknown.

“We only have a small window of known strong immunity. This is known to be mutated, so to prevent the third wave of the disease, try as many vaccines as possible at the highest risk. It’s basically a three-month window for inoculating people. I know there are variants. “

Asymptomatic cases with undetected COVID make it impossible to know the exact percentage of a particular population with some degree of immunity. Also, not all people have the same immune response. That is, some people are more protected than others.

Even the highly contagious measles virus, which remains at low risk due to its high immunity in the United States, has recently been triggered by the invasion of under-vaccinated communities.

“The first and most risky setting of the vaccine has the greatest impact on lowering the case rate,” Dr. Alison Alwadi, director of public health at Chicago, said at a press conference on March 17. It was. “This helps protect us all from the emergence of variants and approaches resuming and returning to normal.”

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