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Hope grows as battle continues for herd immunity

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The amount of vaccines administered locally and across the country continues to climb, but the question regarding when everything will return to normal- remains.

The numbers are looking better day by day. We’re even hitting that point in supply and demand where walk-in vaccine clinics are growing and accesibility is there, but we still have a ways to go.

“We know that we need at least 70%,” said Dr. Alison Brodginski, M.D., director of infectious disease at Geisinger Northeast.

That’s the target vaccination rate to hit ‘herd immunity’ which would greatly diminish the hold COVID-19 has on our daily lives. Dr. Brodginski tells us the facility staff has hit herd immunity and the numbers speak for themselves.

“We were, sometimes, up to 30 employees a week who were positive when this vaccine started rolling out. Now we’re in single digits and sometimes we’re not seeing any as a week passes by.”

As the general public gains ground, the CDC sites more than 93% of senior citizens across the commonwealth have had at least one dose.

Getting the youth vaccinated is a major focus moving forward. Ages 12-15 could see their opportunity next with the Pfizer vaccine.

“Because they weren’t eligible based on age or comorbid medical conditions, they weren’t in that vaccinated group,” said Dr. Brodginski. “What I’m hoping to see is, now that we’re getting some of this younger generation through, that we’re not going to see them becoming infected.”

More than 50% of eligible adults had at least one dose and 1/3 are fully vaccinated. Unfortunately, both numbers still fall short of where medical experts tell us we need to be to get back to normal.

“We certainly know that we are nowhere we we need to be in our area to have protective immunity for all those around us.”

Several medical experts we’ve spoken with tell us 70% is the bare minimum needed for herd immunity.

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