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Here’s how long will it take to vaccinate enough adults to defeat COVID-19

A new look at the numbers suggests we might be in the pandemic for another year

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In this Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, file photo, a syringe with the Moderna coronavirus vaccine is displayed at a clinic organized by New York City’s Department of Health.

In this Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, file photo, a syringe with the Moderna coronavirus vaccine is displayed at a clinic organized by New York City’s Department of Health.

AP

The coronavirus vaccine continues to be rolled out across the country. And now we may have an idea of how long we may have to wait for life to return to normal.

What’s going on?

The United States continues to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine. So far, more than 18 million vaccines have been administered since Dec. 14, according to Bloomberg.

  • Numbers have slowly ticked up as more vaccines are being sent out and states are changing their priority lists.

President Joe Biden plans to have 100 million people vaccinated in his first 100 days in office, as I wrote about for the Deseret News. He issued some new orders Thursday to help push vaccination along.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a White House health advisor, told “Good Morning America” on Thursday that Biden’s plan could succeed.

  • Fauci said he feels “fairly confident” Biden will reach the 100-million vaccinated goal, and maybe do even better.

How long it would take

CNN had a breakdown of the numbers that explained how long it would take.

  • The United States reportedly needs about 75% of people to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.
  • With the current vaccination rate, the U.S. would reach that number by February 2022. That’s if the current pace of vaccine distribution — 914,000 per day — is maintained. With that pace, all US adults would be vaccinated by summer 2022.
  • However, if the U.S. inches up to releasing 1 million shots per day, herd immunity could be reached by the end of 2021.

Return to normal

Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC back in early January that the COVID-19 vaccine rollout doesn’t mean life returns to normal, either. It will take some time to get there.

  • “It’s not going to be like it was in 2017 and 2018, when we didn’t worry at all about catching a respiratory pathogen,” he said. “We’re going to worry about it, even if we’re vaccinated.”
  • “I think we’ll worry much less than we’re worrying right now, hopefully.”