Updated: Feb 16
By Santiago Muguiro
“At the present, about 8% of the U.S. has been vaccinated,” said Erica Kipp, a biology professor at Norwalk Community College Science Department, going on to state that at this rate, it would take about a year more for the vaccine to be administered to most people and reach herd immunity.
Health officials have been searching for ways to protect the population from COVID-19. You may have heard the mention of herd immunity as a way to contain this outbreak. It is when a large part of the population is immune to a specific disease. If enough people are resistant to the disease, it has nowhere to go. This immunity is reached by getting vaccinated or building up antibodies, which can be developed after getting the disease once.
However, herd immunity is achieved at varying rates depending on things like how infectious a disease is, in other words, how many people can get the disease from a single infected individual. It is estimated that for COVID-19, we need 75-80% of the population to be immune, which could be reached by the end of 2021 or the beginning of 2022 if this methodical immunization through vaccination is continued, however, if individuals do not get the vaccine, it may take much longer.
“Some folks are skeptical about taking the vaccine because it was developed quickly and during an administration that didn't take COVID very seriously, but we must remember that researchers were not starting from square one,” said Kipp. While COVID-19 is relatively new, coronaviruses have been around for some time, and quite a bit is known about them, particularly the four strains that cause the regular cold.
Professor Kipp continues, “We also have done a lot of research on SARS, a respiratory ailment closely associated with coronavirus. As a matter of fact, the virus that causes COVID-19 is SARS-CoV-2. We were able to use 50 years of past coronavirus research as a way to propel forward more quickly without compromising safety.”