SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – The hope is that vaccines will allow us to return to a day when mask-wearing and social distancing are no longer needed, and that requires reaching herd immunity- a point where enough people are immune that the virus begins to die out.  

“We don’t reach that point until about 70% are immune either through vaccination or having had a prior infection,” Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of the UC San Francisco Department of Medicine, said. 

70% is about 240 million Americans. 

The problem is, recent polls show only half of Americans are ready to get the vaccine and that could prove problematic.

“If we don’t get to the point that enough people are vaccinated or immune then we don’t get ourselves out of the current pickle,” Dr. Wachter said.

Dr. Wachter says with the vaccine in limited supply now, resistance won’t make a difference.

Come March and April after the high-risk people, health care workers, first responders, and essential workers are vaccinated, there will need to be a push to get people vaccinated. 

Dr. Wachter is hopeful that by that time attitudes will have changed.  

“I think it’s going to be different when the vaccine is out there, people have used it and done okay, people are more conformable so I think the numbers will be higher than that but we will have to see,” Dr. Wachter said.

Dr. Wachter says what’s crystal clear now is that the vaccine will be of no help to people during this current surge. 

That’s why he says people must double on mask-wearing and social distancing, so they can stay healthy until the vaccine is available to them.

Latest Posts