Health experts believe ‘herd immunity’ exists in the pockets of the San Francisco Bay Area – CBS San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – While widespread herd immunity to COVID-19 remains elusive, some local infectious disease experts believe it has been achieved in parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.
One of those pockets, said UCSF infectious disease specialist Dr Peter Chin-Hong, is likely San Quentin State Prison, which has been hit hard by a major COVID outbreak.
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More than 2,100 inmates have had confirmed cases of COVID since the start of the epidemic in the spring of 2020. Of these 28 people have died. Currently, 1,927 inmates are fully vaccinated.
He also believes that there may be nursing homes among the local population.
“Another place where I can say we almost have herd immunity is the nursing home population because across the country (the vaccination rate is) quite high, over 70%,” Dr Chin said. -Hong. “In the Bay Area it’s over 80%.”
Collective immunity can come from a positive COVID-19 test or from a vaccination. Both generate antibodies that fight the virus and the numbers suggest San Francisco leads the Bay Area. The region has the highest percentage of residents vaccinated in California and among the lowest hospitalization rates.
San Francisco health officials said as of May 14, 75% of San Franciscans over 16 had received at least one dose of the vaccine.
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“Until we achieve overall herd immunity, regional herd immunity may be just transient and fleeting depending on the circumstances,” said Dr Chin-Hong.
But most doctors admit that global herd immunity is still a few years away due to new variants, vaccine reluctance, and vaccine equity.
In the Bay Area, the biggest challenge is the reluctance to vaccinate.
“I haven’t been vaccinated because there hasn’t been enough testing and I kinda feel like I don’t want to be one of the guinea pigs,” said William Luckett, a resident of 60-year-old Emeryville who refused to do so. to get vaccinated.
Those who refused to be vaccinated told KPIX they did not trust the science.
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“I don’t trust such systems. Because everyone you trust has let you down, ”said Vernon Lewis, a 58-year-old Oakland resident who refused to be vaccinated.