What is herd immunity?

The Louisiana Department of Health says it will not be possible to know how much of a population is immune and how long that immunity will last.

Posted: Apr 22, 2021 9:35 PM

To safely achieve herd immunity against Covid-19 a substantial amount of the population would have to be vaccinated.

If we reach herd immunity, we could say goodbye to masks and hello to a sense of normalcy... but more work needs to be done to get there. Dr. Larry Simon with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana says it's important to say up to date on cdc guidelines since they change frequently.

"It is because we're learning more and more about covid and the vaccine on an almost weekly or daily basis and as we get more science and get more evidence, we can change guidelines hopefully to make your life easier"

So what exactly is herd immunity... herd immunity happens when enough people are protected from a disease because they've been vaccinated or had the disease... experts aren't sure how long immunity from Covid-19 lasts, but Dr. Simon says the goal to reach herd immunity is attainable but we have to continue social distancing and wearing masks, along with getting vaccinated.

"If your family's been vaccinated you can be very comfortable around them but when you're out in public and when you don't know the vaccination status of those your around I would pretend that it's still april of last year wear a mask and socially distance"

Dr. Simon says we need to follow the eighty/fifty rule. that means eighty percent of people would need to get a vaccine that's at least fifty percent effective.

"But it's an all or nothing proposition until we hit that eighty percent number we still need to be masking and distancing because the sooner we hit that eighty percent number the sooner we're all gathering together at jazzfest in october in new orleans or festival acadian or the saint's game or tailgating for lsu the sooner we get shots in our arms the sooner we're all doing that again"

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