What the steep climb toward herd immunity looks like
Experts doubt we’ll hit the threshold any time soon, but it’s not impossible.
As more and more Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19, it has often been suggested (and sometimes simply assumed) that we’ll soon reach herd immunity.
This is a theoretical point where so many people are immune to the virus that it cannot continue to viably spread, offering indirect protection to the entire population — even those who are not immunized.
Epidemiologists, however, now believe it’s unlikely that we will achieve true herd immunity against COVID-19 anytime soon. It’s possible, but it will be a steep climb to get there.
But don’t worry, they say. It’s not herd immunity or bust.
The severity of the disease is expected to decrease dramatically as the vaccine rollout continues. And life is expected to return, increasingly, toward normalcy.
But stamping out COVID in the way we’ve stamped out some other diseases will be a tall order.