Although vaccinations in the state have ramped up, we are only at 21%. 21% of the Texas population is fully vaccinated. That puts Texas in the BOTTOM 15 states being fully vaccinated.
Among adults 65+, 56% have been fully vaccinated. That’s a great win! But, that is not herd immunity.
✅ Herd immunity is when enough of the population (total, not just the adults older than 65+) is vaccinated to confer protection on those that aren’t vaccinated. We KNOW that is at least 80% for COVID-19. We have a long way to go – even among the 65+ age group.
✅ Why am I not including those who have been infected with COVID-19? Because vaccine-immunity is better than natural-immunity. I’ll link to all of that data here: https://www.facebook.com/friendlyneighborepidemiologist/posts/268469204775736
Also, the ethical, safest, and most long-term way to achieve herd immunity is through vaccines. Natural immunity will wane quicker than vaccine immunity. The let-it-rip approach to natural infections is wrong with the risk of death and long-haulers.
✅ Are we close to herd immunity? Nope, not close.
Our vaccination rates are lower than Michigan which I wrote about last week: Is Michigan a canary in the coal mine for what’s to come in Texas? https://www.facebook.com/friendlyneighborepidemiologist/posts/279478787008111
✅ We are now seeing cases rise again. Cases are increasing in over HALF of Texas counties over the past 14 days. Hospitalizations are also increasing. The B.1.1.7 variant is increasing in the state and among hospitalized patients (many of who are young). So, vaccinating ALL the population matters greatly with the B.1.1.7 variant which seems to be more severe among younger adults. I wrote about that here: https://www.facebook.com/friendlyneighborepidemiologist/posts/279478787008111
✅ Texans, get your shots and hang in there. Wear your masks and protect those around you. We are not close to herd immunity. We all WANT to be. But, don’t let that feeling make you put your guard down. Let the data dictate our actions.
Vaccine data: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/covid-19-vaccine-doses.html
Texas county-specific COVID cases data: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/texas-covid-cases.html