UAB professor says we’re still on track to reach herd immunity by late spring/early summer

Herd immunity timeline

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -Despite vaccinations declining around the country, a UAB professor believes we could still hit herd immunity soon.

If today in Alabama, everyone stopped getting vaccinated then UAB epidemiologist Dr. Suzanne Judd believes we could have issues.

“Thanksgiving of 2021 would look exactly like Thanksgiving of 2020 in terms of the number of people with immunity, so we have to keep folks getting vaccinated so that we can meet that goal and stay where we are in those people whose immunity is starting to come down,” Judd said.

This week UAB reported at four vaccination sites it has seen a 78% drop in people getting shots. vaccinations are down around the country, but despite that Dr. Judd believes we could still reach herd immunity by May or June.

Judd says if the state continues to meet or exceed its weekly target of 100,000 plus doses given then we could be months away from herd immunity. COVID-19 cases are dropping as well and that’s what health leaders want to see.

“We don’t think that the reason the cases are coming down are because people have changed their behavior so it’s got to be because they have levels of immunity that keeps the virus from spreading. The question is will that immunity last? We know it lasts with the vaccine. We just don’t know if its lasts with infection,” Judd said.

Judd says if we’re talking about just vaccine induced herd immunity and not by infection then reaching herd immunity could take place in September or October. These timelines assume people will continue to get vaccinated.

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