Herd immunity. From the onset of the pandemic, we’ve wanted to get there, but the details about that have brought about endless debates. With the advent of the vaccines the conversation shifted from debates about how to get there to when we would get there. Truth is like any other moving target we probably won’t know until well after it’s happened, but we can start putting together the pieces in Florida based on who’s had the virus, who’s been vaccinated and our current population.
At least 42.3% of Floridians have either had COVID-19 or have been vaccinated against it. It’s still a long way from where we theoretically will catch the herd, though theories exist that more people have had the virus than were ever reported. We also know not all Floridians who’ve had the virus have been diagnosed with it. My most recent analysis suggested about 19% more Floridians have had COVID-19 than what’s been diagnosed during the pandemic. Add that into the mix and it’s likely 44% of Florida’s population has either had COVID-19 or has been vaccinated with at least a first dose of vaccine.
Experts have often said the 70% threshold is the entry level number needed for herd immunity. Given Florida’s current vaccination rates, we’re currently pacing towards that level in late May. Of course, the recent surge in cases in Florida following Spring Break is also aiding in speeding up the timeline. We won’t fully know when we’ve reached herd immunity until after it’s happened, but we do know we’re closing in on half of Floridian’s having antibodies.
Photo credit: Getty Images