Melinda Gates says global Covid herd immunity won't come until next YEAR as US is only halfway there at 40%

MELINDA Gates thinks we won't get worldwide immunity until 2022, with experts estimating the United States is only 40 percent immune to the coronavirus.

The billionaire philanthropist said worldwide herd immunity will largely depend on getting the vaccine to developing nations "en masse," with Gates estimating that won't begin until the end of this year.

Gates, who along with her husband Bill, has donated millions to coronavirus vaccine and treatment research as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

"So it’ll be sometime in 2022 till we have full herd immunity," Gates said on CNBC on Monday. "And boy, I think we’re all looking forward to that. There are a lot of people that are suffering, not just in the U.S. but everywhere."

Gates' comments come as health experts and leaders across the world scramble to distribute as many vaccines as possible to end the pandemic.

Medical experts have estimated it would take months if not years for countries to vaccinate enough people to fully attain herd immunity, with many saying the United States is a long ways off.

"We haven’t had so much infection and, as a result, have not had as much naturally acquired immunity," UC San Francisco epidemiologist and infectious diseases expert Dr. George Rutherford told the Los Angeles Times of California.

He added that the nationwide average for immunity hovers around 40 percent, but added that's either from vaccination or because people have recovered from infection.

Rutherford estimated the country needs about two thirds of its population to achieve herd immunity.

Other medical experts have echoed similar thoughts, saying new variants could throw off immunity efforts, adding Covid-19 will likey become an endemic disease in the future – meaning it'll float each year like the flu.

Gates' husband Bill said getting people vaccinated in developing countries was the "only way to bring the pandemic to an end."

Source: Read Full Article