Forget Herd Immunity. Here’s How We End This Nightmare.

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By the time Israel recently crossed the threshold of 60 percent of its population having received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine (with more than one half receiving two doses to become fully immunized), new COVID-19 cases and deaths had plummeted. Now that New Hampshire is the first in the United States to reach 60 percent single-dose immunization, we are seeing significant declines in COVID-19 suffering there, as well.

Such positive developments might make it seem like the all-elusive target of “herd immunity” is finally within reach, and the pandemic is kaput.

Yet on Monday, The New York Times skeptically explored whether it will even be possible to achieve herd immunity in the United States. In this context, herd immunity refers to the level of COVID-19 vaccination coverage required in order to reach a tipping point that results in halting coronavirus transmission.