COVID-19 Milestone: In the United States, the Number of People Fully Vaccinated Is Now Larger Than the Number of Reported Cases

As of this morning, researchers at Johns Hopkins University are reporting 29,048,819 reported cases of COVID-19 in the United States since the pandemic began. (The New York Times has a similar number on their COVID-19 website.) According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of fully vaccinated people in the United States is at a little over 32 million as of today. This is significant because well over 90% of the United States population should receive at least one dose of the vaccine by September, taking the country as a whole well into herd immunity territory. (One dose matters now that the Janssen/Johnson&Johnson vaccine has received Emergency Use Authorization.) It is also significant because, as long as the pace of vaccination outpaces the rate of new infection, the epidemic in the United States should slow down and begin to reverse.

Is Herd Immunity a Potential Solution to the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Although the number of cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the United States, restaurants and schools are beginning to open, and many people are acting as if the pandemic is over. Supporters of opening businesses and schools state that we cannot continue isolating ourselves, and that we need to build up our immunity. So, can herd immunity really be achieved in this pandemic? Can it be the solution we have been waiting for?