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Los Angeles herd immunity to Covid not before end of August: Officials – Deadline

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said on Wednesday the county now anticipates it will be the end of August before 80% of its residents have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, assuming that vaccinations are continuing at the current rate. That’s a far cry from the 80% of residents who previously had to be fully immunized by the end of July. And, of course, it takes two doses of most Covid vaccines to gain immunity.

In early May, Ferrer said if the county could maintain its rate of administration of around 400,000 doses per week, “herd immunity” could be achieved by mid-July. Health officials have estimated that 80% of the county’s residents will need to be vaccinated to reach that point. A previous estimate by LA officials estimated so-called “community immunity” at the end of June.

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“We currently administer approximately 100,000 vaccines to LA County residents each week, and we have approximately 1.1 million additional first doses to be given before 80% of all LA County residents 16 and over have received at minus a vaccine, ”Ferrer said in a virtual conference. press briefing today.

As of May 23, 63% of LA County residents had received at least one vaccine injection, according to vaccine tracker page. Only 51% of residents were fully immunized.

Steadily declining projections for when herd immunity will be achieved in the region are the result of declining demand for the vaccine in recent weeks. While the county administered a maximum of 86,000 doses per day on April 1, absorption had fallen to 15,000-20,000 per day for the week ending May 23. In a county of 10 million people, this represents a difficult climb.

One concerning element of LA’s steadily declining herd immunity end zone is what could happen once the drop sets in and the magic ratio still hasn’t been met. It was last August that the region’s spring wave finally subsided. But in early October, daily cases were on the rise again, at least in part to the seasonality of Covid-type infections. There could still be a spike in cases this year, especially if herd immunity has not been reached.

But it is a big one maybe. The county’s test positivity rate is currently remarkably low at 0.5%. This is undoubtedly the result not only of seasonality, but of prolonged stopping and widespread vaccination. And even at, say, 60% of residents fully vaccinated at the end of August, that’s a lot more protection than the county had last fall.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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