Shortly after taking office in January, President Biden said he was convinced that increased access to vaccines for Americans over the coming months will lead to herd immunity by the summer.
The comments came as the newly-appointed president pledged to achieve 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in his first 100 days as president.
When reporters asked the president when anyone who wants a vaccine could get one, Biden said, “I think we can do it this spring. And for the future, he added that “I am convinced that by the summer we will be on the right track towards collective immunity and increased access.”
“Herd immunity” means that a sufficient number of people are immunized, either by vaccination or by a previous infection, to stop the uncontrolled spread of a disease. However, herd immunity does not immunize anyone, and epidemics can still break out. It just means that a virus no longer easily passes from person to person, helping to protect those who are still vulnerable from catching it.
BIDEN MANDATE EXEMPT CONGRESS ON COVID-19 VACCINE
Despite the president’s “collective immunity” predictions in January, COVID cases – fueled by the deadlier, more contagious delta variant of the virus – remain at record highs.
Unvaccinated people face a much higher risk of death from the delta variant of COVID, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Over the past week, the United States recorded an average of 136,000 COVID cases, 11,750 hospitalizations and more than 1,000 days in the previous seven-day period, Reuters reported, citing the CDC director, Dr Rochelle Walensky.
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The latest figures came a day after President Biden issued a sweeping executive order requiring all federal workers and contractors who do business with the federal government to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser and The Associated Press contributed to this report.