Voluntary modifications to behaviour – such as mask wearing when it’s not mandatory – are probably helping to keep the virus in check.
Protesters gather at Indiana University in June 2021 to demonstrate against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for students, staff and faculty.
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Subtly shifting the crafting and delivery of public health messaging on COVID-19 vaccines could go a long way toward persuading many of the unvaccinated to get the shot.
Intensive care physicians are yet again facing ICU bed and staff shortages as severe COVID-19 cases rise.
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A critical care doctor brings a frontlines perspective to the frustration of dealing firsthand with vaccine hesitancy and discusses the limitations of science and medicine.
Australia could again fall into the trap of false economies by opening up too soon.
COVID-19 vaccination in Africa is speeding up.
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In Africa, it’s more rational to prioritise vaccine access, rapid rollout and community engagement, than pushing the narrative of vaccine-induced population immunity.
But herd immunity is not our only option. If we don’t vaccinate children, we may have to settle for lesser protection of the population.
Governments should drop the idea of herd immunity. It risks leaving people feeling disillusioned by vaccination campaigns.
Once we achieve herd immunity, people who are not vaccinated benefit indirectly from the immunity of those around them. But it’s not easy to say exactly when we’ll reach this threshold for COVID-19.
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New Zealand’s approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 12-15 year olds will bring the number of people eligible for the jab to 85% of the population, raising the chance of reaching collective immunity.
Vaccination has saved millions of lives throughout the course of history.
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Vaccines have successfully curtailed viral diseases for decades. But as COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy shows, mistrust and misinformation continue to put lives at risk.
The level of immunity needed — either through vaccination or infection — for practical herd immunity is uncertain, but may be quite high.
It is unlikely that we will reach full herd immunity for COVID-19. However, we are likely to reach a practical kind of herd immunity through vaccination.
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Many developed countries have approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children as young as 12, even though they are a low-risk group.
Little work has been done to understand young people’s willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Above: a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus on May 6.
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As vaccine eligibility is expanded to adolescents and young adults, understanding who might be more likely to be vaccine hesitant, and why, can help inform public health strategies
Houses in the city of Victoria, the capital of Seychelles.
What does the Seychelles experience tell us about variants, vaccine efficacy and herd immunity?
A gathering of women survivors at a Solace Ministries meeting, near Kigali, Rwanda, in 2010.
Donald E. Miller
A scholar of the Rwandan genocide argues that while a genocide and a pandemic are very different, the experiences of Rwanda’s survivors may provide lessons on how to heal from pandemic trauma.
A woman walks by a sign in New York City amid the coronavirus pandemic on March 30, 2021.
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Vaccination rates for COVID-19 have been lower than desired for herd immunity, or when enough people become immune for new infections to stop. What will life look like without it?
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The vaccination levels needed to cross the line might not be achievable at all, even in the long term.
It’s quite likely this virus will never be eliminated from the world. But even so, getting vaccinated enormously reduces your risk of severe outcomes like hospitalisation and death.
Relatives of COVID-19 victims walk past a van at Nigambodh Ghat crematorium in New Delhi.
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Stories of reaching herd immunity were certainly premature.
Monterey Mushrooms, an agricultural employer in California, teamed up with its union and the local county to get its workers vaccinated.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
Surveys suggest people trust companies more than government and the media, showing they have an important role in helping end the pandemic.