Almost half of all Americans have now received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and roughly 40% are fully vaccinated, making mask mandates a thing of the past. Already, more than half a dozen states have vaccinated more than 70% of adults with at least one dose and some counties are hitting vaccine rates as high as 90% for those over 65 years of age.
As we've watched deaths from COVID drop across the country, it seems we are getting closer to the goal of the pandemic response: getting a high enough percentage of people with immunity to return to "normal." While all signs seem to point to us being closer to that goal, will it also signal the end of the pandemic? After all, herd immunity is a global effort and dozens of countries haven't even vaccinated 5% of their population.
Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, the former CDC Director under President Obama, and current president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, joins us on this week's episode to explain if we'll get there or if our goal should be something else completely.