Fauci says 70-90% herd immunity necessary to beat Covid pandemic

Dr Anthony Fauci, who initially estimated between 60 to 70 percent for immunity, has gradually been moving the goal posts in recent weeks as it emerged that COVID-19 was becoming more transmissible

Dr Anthony Fauci, who initially estimated between 60 to 70 percent for immunity, has gradually been moving the goal posts in recent weeks as it emerged that COVID-19 was becoming more transmissible

Dr Anthony Fauci now says it could take up to 90 percent herd immunity across the United States to end the COVID-19 pandemic as three mutant strains of the virus are discovered and December becomes the deadliest month of the outbreak so far. 

Despite initially saying herd immunity could be reached at between 60 to 70 percent, Fauci believes it may now take closer to 90 percent in order for life to return to normal.  

Fauci, who initially estimated between 60 to 70 percent for immunity, has gradually been moving the goal posts in recent weeks as it emerged that COVID-19 was becoming more transmissible.

He said he didn’t reveal his higher estimates publicly weeks ago because he feared Americans were hesitant about taking the COVID-19 vaccine. The infectious disease expert received his initial dose of the vaccine on live TV this week. 

‘When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent,’ Fauci told the New York Times. ‘Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, ‘I can nudge this up a bit,’ so I went to 80, 85.

‘We need to have some humility here. We really don’t know what the real number is. I think the real range is somewhere between 70 to 90 percent. But, I’m not going to say 90 percent.’ 

The CDC revealed on Wednesday that more than one million Americans have already received a COVID-19 vaccine. It is not yet clear how long it will take to reach 90 percent herd immunity given the rate of vaccinations across the country so far. 

Most Americans have been told that it could be six months or more before they are eligible for the vaccine shots as priority is given to healthcare workers, nursing home residents and, in some cases, top government officials. 

Despite the US vaccination campaign getting underway this month, December has already become the deadliest month of the entire COVID-19 pandemic. 

With eight days left of the month, December has already recorded more than 57,700 deaths. It exceeds the 52,000 deaths recorded in the entire month of April during the initial peak of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States

With eight days left of the month, December has already recorded more than 57,700 deaths. It exceeds the 52,000 deaths recorded in the entire month of April during the initial peak of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States

At least 3,359 Americans died on Wednesday, marking the third deadliest day of the pandemic so far. The seven-day rolling average for deaths is now more than 2,600

At least 3,359 Americans died on Wednesday, marking the third deadliest day of the pandemic so far. The seven-day rolling average for deaths is now more than 2,600

With eight days left of the month, December has already recorded more than 57,700 deaths. It exceeds the 52,000 deaths recorded in the entire month of April during the initial peak of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. 

At least 3,359 Americans died on Wednesday, marking the third deadliest day of the pandemic so far. 

The number of people hospitalized with the virus hit a record 119,463 and there were 228,131 new infections recorded.

More than 326,000 Americans have now died of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic and there have been 18.4 million confirmed cases. 

In a week where more than one million Americans received the first doses of a vaccine, it has emerged that there are three new mutant COVID-19 strains discovered in the UK, South Africa and Nigeria.

Fauci has already warned the strain discovered in the UK is likely to have already spread in the US. 

The CDC said it is monitoring the strains found in the African countries but couldn’t confirm if those mutations had been discovered in the US yet. 

Another new variant of coronavirus – known as P681H – has now emerged in Nigeria, Africa’s leading public health official revealed on Thursday.     

There were 228,131 new infections recorded on Wednesday, bringing the seven-day rolling average down slightly to 211,000

There were 228,131 new infections recorded on Wednesday, bringing the seven-day rolling average down slightly to 211,000

The number of people hospitalized with the virus hit a record 119,463 on Thursday. Hospitalizations are currently rising in eight states compared to last week

The number of people hospitalized with the virus hit a record 119,463 on Thursday. Hospitalizations are currently rising in eight states compared to last week

Three new mutant COVID-19 strains discovered in the UK, South Africa and Nigeria 

Another new variant of COVID-19 seems to have emerged in Nigeria, health officials have revealed. 

The news comes after Britain and South Africa both reported new variants that appear to be more contagious, leading to new travel restrictions and fears it could have spread to US.

‘It’s a separate lineage from the UK and the South African lineages,’ John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, said.

Medics do not currently believe the new strain is more infectious than previous strains discovered in the UK and South Africa. 

The strain found in South Africa is believed to be more contagious than the one found in the UK and is feared to be even more infectious and driving a surge of infections among young people. 

Fauci has already warned the strain discovered in the UK is likely to have already spread in the US. 

The CDC said it is monitoring the strains found in the African countries but couldn’t confirm if those mutations had been discovered in the US yet.

A handful of countries immediately banned flights from South Africa and Britain. The United States has not issued any bans. 

John Nkengasong, head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, said the new strain it is different to the ones found recently in the UK and South Africa.

Medics do not currently believe the new strain is more infectious than previous strains. 

It comes after a strain discovered in South Africa late last week has now been found in the UK, which is already battling its own mutant strain. 

The strain found in South Africa is believed to be more contagious than the one found in the UK and is feared to be even more infectious and driving a surge of infections among young people. 

A CDC spokesperson told DailyMail.com the agency is aware of the situation in Africa and is monitoring the implications for the United States. 

They could not confirm if the South African strain has been detected in the US yet.  

Two cases of that variant have already been detected in the UK in people who had traveled from South Africa in recent weeks. 

The two cases were discovered in separate parts of Britain through random routine sampling, which picks out only around one in 10 tests carried out. The fact that they were detected through random sampling and that they are thought to have been infected by separate travelers suggests there are many more cases of the variant already in Britain. 

It has prompted fears the variant may have already spread to the US.

A handful of countries immediately banned flights from South Africa and Britain. The United States has not issued any bans. 

Drug makers Pfizer and Moderna are testing their vaccines against the variants, but believe the drugs will be effective against the mutant virus. 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would order international travelers to quarantine for 14 days on arrival and provide contact information to government officials. Sheriff’s deputies will make visits to enforce the order on those arriving from Britain, the mayor said. Travelers found to violate those orders face fines of $1,000 per day, de Blasio said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked airlines to screen British travelers for COVID-19 following the emergence of the variant there. 

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee this week ordered a 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving from the UK, South Africa or other countries where the new variant had been detected. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *