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The U.S. may soon hit a COVID-19 vaccine wall. Here’s what that means

What does a COVID-19 vaccine wall mean? What does it mean for a herd immunity?

What does a COVID-19 vaccine wall mean? What does it mean for a herd immunity?
Asma Dahir directs cars during a COVID-19 vaccination event at the Khadeeja Islamic Center and Mosque in West Valley City on Friday, March 26, 2021.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

A new analysis from Surgo Ventures — a global health foundation that provides data for health programs — suggests the United States might meet the demand for COVID-19 vaccine sooner rather than later, and attention will shift to getting people to who don’t want the vaccine to take the vaccine.

  • The analysis said that the “the supply-demand shift for the vaccine will happen earlier than expected — as early as the end of April — and before the nation reaches the 70-90% threshold for achieving herd immunity.”

What this means for herd immunity

The analysis suggests that the U.S. will see 52% of American vaccinated by July. So if you had those numbers and the number of people who already got infected with COVID-19, the U.S. will hit about 65% immunity, which is less than what’s needed for herd immunity.

  • Experts believe herd immunity — where enough people have been infected with COVID-19 for the world to return to normal — will be achieved when 70% of people are protected, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

What is a vaccine wall?

Axios suggested this means the United States will hit a “vaccine wall,” where the supply meets the demand and the “focus will abruptly shift to convincing holdouts to get vaccinated.”

  • “This analysis shows that despite the general vaccine enthusiasm we are seeing now in the United States, things are going to get really difficult really soon,” said Sema Sgaier, Surgo’s CEO, according to Axios.

What about Utah?

A new Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll found that about half of Utah residents have already been vaccinated against COVID-19, and another 15% want to get their COVID-19 vaccine shots.

  • That said, close to 13% of Utahns aren’t in a rush to get the COVID-19 vaccine and 7% want to wait.
  • “Among the 14% who say they’ll never get vaccinated, 36% don’t trust the vaccines, 25% don’t think the shots are necessary and 10% are worried about side effects,” the Deseret News reported.