Dr. Anthony Fauci said attaining herd immunity against COVID-19 requires the vaccination of around 90% of the U.S. population. Dr. Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and serves as chief medical adviser to President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden.
In an interview with the New York Times on Thursday, Fauci said, “We need to have some humility here. We really don’t know what the real number is. I think the real range is somewhere between 70 to 90 percent. But, I’m not going to say 90 percent.” His comments come as U.S. COVID-19 death rate reaches 326,333.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 0.3% or one million of the population received the COVID-19 vaccine since December 14.
Dr. Fauci also explained that the more infectious the disease is, the higher rate of vaccination is required so that herd immunity becomes possible.
“When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent. Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, ‘I can nudge this up a bit,’ so I went to 80, 85.” Fauci told the Times.