Experts estimate that at least 70 percent of the population needs to be immune to the coronavirus in order to achieve herd immunity, but while so many eagerly await a viable vaccine, Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones said that a COVID-19 vaccine may not necessarily guarantee recipients immunity for a prolonged period of time.
“We don’t know how much antibody needs to be out there for people to really be immune,” said Jones, who noted that vaccine trial participants have only tested for the COVID-19 antibodies after two months. Jones, who was formerly the president of the American Public Health Association, spoke with the PBS NewsHour’s Amna Nawaz on Dec. 10 about the coronavirus outbreak and response in the U.S.
The hope is that a vaccine will give recipients immunity for at least a year, she added, and that sometime between June and September, the U.S. could hit the 70 percent mark. But, she cautioned that this doesn’t mean Americans should put their masks aside. “We have to keep being careful around one another until I would say until we have as near to 100 percent vaccination as we could get,” Jones said.
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