According to epidemiologists, herd immunity is necessary to contain a virus and is achieved when a sufficient amount of the population is either vaccinated or survives the infection and makes antibodies to counter new infections. The virus then does not have enough hosts to infect.
Most scientists believe 60% to 80% of the population must be vaccinated or have natural antibodies to achieve herd immunity, said Dr Mike Ryan, executive director of the country’s health emergency program last month. World Health Organization.
The coronavirus, however, has infected less than 2% of the U.S. population and has already killed at least 166,970 people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Allowing the virus to spread uncontrollably to gain herd immunity would raise the death toll to a level that is “completely unacceptable,” Fauci said. Americans tend to have more underlying conditions, like diabetes and obesity, which lead to higher death rates from the coronavirus.
– CNBC Berkeley Lovelace Jr. contributed to this report.