HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO-TV) – Herd immunity, also known as collective immunity, has been an ongoing discussion especially now with the increase in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 39% of the nation’s adult population has been fully vaccinated, and over 55% of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Experts say COVID-19 will more than likely become a manageable threat in the U.S. for the next several years.
Cameron County Health Authority Dr. James Castillo says it is important to have a clear understanding of what herd immunity is.
“When enough people in a particular population are immune to an infection, a disease, that if one person gets infected all of those people who might come into contact with them since they’re immune the infection doesn’t spread anymore,” he said.
Dr. Castillo says an end to the pandemic is the ultimate goal. He says the Rio Grande Valley is nowhere near the numbers for most diseases to reach the herd immunity stage.
“We are not near that, nobody knows for COVID what’s that number,” he said.
He says if one person in the room is infected with COVID, that person can potentially expose lots of people in the same room; therefore, a lot of people would need to be immune in order for the herd immunity stage to occur.
According to Dr. Castillo, the COVID-19 virus is very infectious because it can spread through the air and through droplets.
Dr. Castillo says the more people who get vaccinated, the safer and stronger communities will become.