Multiple medical authorities believe the population’s vaccination rate may need to approach or exceed 90% in order to reach an optimal level protection against COVID-19.
The prominence of the delta variant of the virus has further increased the urgency for people to get vaccinated, the officials told USA Today in a report published Sunday.
“What we’ve learned with delta and looking beyond delta, is ... to give you that true population-level protection, you need to be in excess of 90%,” Tom McCarthy of the Rhode Island Department of Health told the newspaper.
A similar sentiment was shared by Dr. Eric Topol of the Scripps Research group.
“Now we need 85 to 90% vaccinated against delta,” Topol told USA Today.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, had contended in May that another surge in the fall could be prevented if 70% of the population got vaccinated by July 4.
About 56.5% of the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to statistics compiled by John Hopkins University. More than 185 million Americans are fully vaccinated.
More than 12 million people in New York are fully vaccinated, which accounts for 63.74% of the population.
Americans aged 12 and up are currently eligible to get vaccinated.