At the moment, nobody knows exactly what the threshold of population infection needs to be at to attain herd immunity. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s health emergencies program, said most scientists believe 60% to 80% of the population needs to be vaccinated or have natural antibodies to achieve herd immunity.
Researchers from Stockholm University in Sweden and the University of Nottingham in Britain published a new study in the journal Science on Friday.The scientists estimate that herd immunity could be achieved at a population-wide infection rate of approximately 40%.
Youyang Gu, a computer scientist whose coronavirus projections are one of 34 pandemic models tracked by the CDC, believes that herd immunity could help in the fight against COVID-19.
“Immunity may play a significant part in the regions that are declining,” Gu told MIT Technology Review. Gu estimates that approximately 35 million Americans have now been infected, which is more than 10% of the country’s population.