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The Likelihood of Herd Immunity

Eva Sadej, Founder & CEO

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As India and the developing world struggle to access vaccines, vaccination rates in the developed world are plateauing. 50% of Americans are vaccinated - the same % of people who get flu shots every year - for a disease that is more contagious and leads to more severe illness.

Is the glass half-full or half-empty? Depends on your view. Mine is positive, but realistic and mathematical. The speed of vaccination of the 50% has been unprecedented and has defied all expectations. It is a government program to celebrate, even if it had some bumps along the way. The thankfulness and tears I witnessed at our government drive-throughs, especially from the elderly, were the most heart-warming first hand experiences of the impact of pharmaceutical innovation I experienced first hand.

Still, forecasts show that it will take at least 70% of people need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity and closing that final gap with free ball tickets and other incentives will be a challenge. Stimulus money during the pandemic has been vast and Americans have 26% more discretionary income than in February 2020. Some states literally have 3x the volume of job vacancies versus applicants. With over 40% of Americans saying no to vaccines - they are unlikely to compromise their personal views of what enters their body in exchange for a fee. 

My bet is 60%, which is 10% shy of herd immunity, by end of year. 

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