The aim of the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 is herd immunity — the point at which so few people are susceptible to infection that the virus runs out of places to go. In the early days of the pandemic, epidemiologists estimated that would require inoculating about two-thirds of the U.S. population. Now many of those same experts say that figure is almost certainly too low. "If you really want true herd immunity, where you get a blanket of protection over the country … you want about 75 to 85% of the country to get vaccinated," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious-disease official, told a reporter last week. "I would say even closer to 85%." Advertisement The shift reflects a deeper understanding of how the virus spreads — that it jumps from one person to another more easily than once thought. The question of how many people must be vaccinated is of crucial importance as the world embarks on the biggest inoculation campaign in decades. The goal of vaccination isn't just to protect the individual who receives it but also to drape a fire blanket over a large enough portion of the population that the fire begins running out of… Read full this story
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