Vaccination rates in the U.S. are slipping; is herd immunity possible?

FILE PHOTO - a person receives a vaccine from a medical professional. Photo by Mat Napo on Unsplash

A story in Monday morning’s New York Times says because daily vaccination rates are slipping in the United States, there is a building consensus among scientists that herd immunity threshold is not attainable.

Still, experts say vaccinations remain the key to transforming the virus into a controllable threat.

The number of Utahns who are fully vaccinated is 960,630 which is about 42 percent of eligible Utahns 16 and older. Exactly 10,654 new vaccine doses were administered since Sunday and vaccinations in Utah now total almost 2.2 million.

The Monday vaccinations update from the Bear River Health Department shows almost 33 percent of all adults in the district have been immunized and 116,080 total doses have been administered in Cache, Box Elder and Rich counties.

A Utah Department of Health (UDOH) Monday report showed 228 new positive COVID-19 cases were reported while eight of them were in northern Utah, leaving a total of 21,436 total cases in the district.

UDOH also reported no new COVID deaths which leaves Utah’s COVID death toll at 2,204.

Over the course of the pandemic there have been 398,240 positive cases in Utah.

The rolling seven-day average for percent positivity of people over people is 6.6 percent. The rolling seven-day average for percent positivity of “tests over tests” is 3.6 percent.

Since the start of the pandemic among the 21,436 total positive cases in Cache, Box Elder and Rich counties, 21,043 of those patients are described as “recovered.” Most of the cases were found in Cache County (15,990) followed by Box Elder County (5,285) and Rich County (151).

There have been 244,297 total tests administered in northern Utah including 181,380 in Cache County, 61,214 in Box Elder County and 1,703 in Rich County.

Utah’s current COVID-19 hospitalizations are now at 132 people, five fewer than Sunday. There are 53 people in intensive care units, which is one fewer than Sunday. A total of 16,229 people have been hospitalized during the pandemic.

Idaho’s latest numbers show 187,776 confirmed coronavirus cases and 2,045 COVID-19 deaths. In the three southeast Idaho counties case counts include 1,180 positive cases in Franklin County, 381 in Bear Lake County and 356 in Oneida County.

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