Houston County Health Department: we’re not at herd immunity just yet

Local News

HOUSTON CO. Ala. (WDHN) — Around the nation, there have been differing opinions on when herd immunity may be reached.

A professor of John Hopkins University hopes herd immunity will be reached by April, though not everyone agrees.

“I’m not sure that we’re quite there yet, but we are gaining ground every day,” Southeast Public Health Administrator Corey Kirkland said. “We’re approaching 800k vaccines in arms. Probably before the end of this month we’ll have that done. So we’re getting a little closer every day.”

According to Kirkland, herd immunity can be attained if enough people get sick from COVID-19 or get the vaccine because then they would have the antibodies needed to gain immunity.

“I think the vaccine gets us there a lot quicker and it also cuts out on the possibility that we continue to have people pass away from the disease,” Kirkland said. “Those who have underlying health conditions and their age, you know, that are more susceptible to complications with it, of course, would suffer more. So it certainly helps protect that group.”

Kirkland said that more and more people are getting the disease and recovering while more people are getting the vaccine. This makes him believe the Wiregrass is getting closer to immunity.

However, Kirkland told WDHN that residents still need to follow Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s guidelines. Herd immunity happens when a large percentage of people have immunity and can protect those more vulnerable from getting sick.

“We just need to keep again with our mitigation thinking about our distancing, our handwashing,” Kirkland said. “All of those things, wearing your masks at least for a little it longer through this year and then give us time to continue building the numbers of people who have at least one dose or have completed two doses of the vaccine.”

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