Nearly 100 million Americans are fully vaccinated and new coronavirus cases are at their lowest level since last October. Could the vaccination campaign finally be winning the race against the coronavirus in the United States?
That’s the big question the nation has been waiting to answer. While some researchers says it’s still too soon to know for sure, a growing number of epidemiologists, infectious disease researchers and public health experts think the country might have reached — or be about to reach — that crucial inflection point.
“I think we’ve hit a tipping point,” says Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. “We’ve really turned a corner on this latest wave. And I think that the worst days of the pandemic really are now behind us.”
Jha and others base that conclusion on several factors. First of all, a significant proportion of the U.S. population — an estimated 34% — already has some immunity to the virus from having been exposed to the virus.
Secondly — and most importantly — the vaccination campaign has now inoculated a significant number of people. More than 43% of the population has now gotten at least one shot, and a third are fully vaccinated. That’s getting very close to where other countries, such as Israel, started to turn the corner and experience a precipitous drop in infections.