'Very limited or no spread': Doctor explains herd immunity and how it can reached

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — More than two million people in Wisconsin are fully vaccinated.

Doctors say the numbers are positive, but there is still a long way to go to reach herd immunity.

Herd immunity happens when enough people in a community are immune to an infectious disease, essentially giving protection to everyone.

“The quickest way to get back to normal is to have very limited or no spread of COVID-19 within our communities,” UW Health Senior Medical Director Dr. Matt Anderson said.

It can be reached when people with COVID-19 infect, on average, less than one person. The immunity can occur through mass infection, mass vaccination and mitigation efforts.

“We really just need to double down and work on those [vaccines and mitigation efforts] things,” he said. “When we think about Wisconsin being a little bit over a third fully vaccinated, from a vaccine standpoint, we have a bit of a ways to go.”

Anderson said it’s hard to put a timeline on it, but things seem to be headed in the right direction.

“I think we’re going to really start seeing more benefit from hitting that higher percentage of immunity and what you’ve seen in Israel and some other countries, where they’ve had very high rates, where you get that 40-50% rate immunized you start seeing the case count go down quite a bit,” he said. “So I think as we move through the month of May and into June, we’re going to see a decline in case counts and I think that’s going to be very beneficial for us.”

Anderson also explained because children are not eligible for the vaccine yet, it makes it even more important for as many adults as possible to get their shots.

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