ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Herd immunity to the coronavirus is within reach, health officials say, but the struggle is trying to educate people who have already decided against getting the vaccine and encourage them to change their minds.
Community or herd immunity — when a certain percentage of the population is immune to COVID-19 — is what health officials are working toward with mass vaccine distributions across the world with varying strategies aimed at making the shots accessible.
However, health officials worry it’s possible some communities will never reach the desired 70 to 80% immunity needed to reach that goal if enough people do not get vaccinated. The struggle now is convincing people who have already made up their minds to re-consider getting the vaccine. The lowest vaccine rates continue to be among the younger population 16 and older, data shows.
Orange County Health Officer with Florida Department of Health Dr. Raul Pino said herd immunity could look different for some communities depending on certain factors.
“Many of our scientists are saying that somewhere between 70 and 85% of the population could be the magic number,” Pino said, adding it will be difficult to get to 70% and it will not be over several weeks but a long period of time.
In Orange County, 44.5% of residents over 16 have had at least one dose of the vaccine.
Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.