About 73% of U.S. is now immune to the omicron variant. Is that enough to return to normal?
Immunity to the omicron is high. So what does this mean for the future of the pandemic?
An estimated 73% of the American population has some sort of immunity to the omicron variant — a number that could rise to 80% by the middle of March, The Associated Press reports.
The news: Immunity to the coronavirus has been rising throughout the winter.
- Right now, about half of all eligible Americans received their COVID-19 booster shot.
- There have been about 80 million confirmed COVID-19 cases — with many more infections never being reported, according to the AP.
What they’re saying: “We have changed,” Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, told the AP. “We have been exposed to this virus and we know how to deal with it.”
Why it matters: Public health officials are considering what to do next with COVID-19 restrictions as COVID-19 cases have gone down and immunity has risen.
- Several states — especially those that had strict COVID-19 restrictions throughout the pandemic — have loosened their COVID-19 restrictions and face mask rules as cases have dwindled, as I reported for the Deseret News.
- Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House medical adviser on the coronavirus, said Wednesday in an interview with Reuters that the U.S. isn’t quite at pre-pandemic life, but the country is getting close.
- “There is no perfect solution to this,” he said.
- “You don’t want to be reckless and throw everything aside, but you’ve got to start inching towards that.”