Local health experts urge people to consider their own communities instead of focusing on herd immunity


INDIANAPOLIS — Local health experts urge people to focus on protecting themselves and their communities by getting the COVID vaccine instead of trying to reach herd immunity.

The doctor said there are still many unknowns about what level of immunity we must reach to achieve herd immunity.

However, Dr. Shaun Grannis, the vice president for data and analytics at Regenstrief, said what is known is the success of the vaccines in preventing COVID-19 illness.

“The vast majority, in fact almost all cases of COVID in the state of Indiana, are for people who are not vaccinated,” Grannis said.

Grannis said the state is reporting .04% of people got COVID-19 after receiving their vaccine.

“The numbers that we’re looking at and analyzing with the state and the CDC show that it’s even lower than that,” Grannis said.

Dr. Christopher Doehring, vice president for medical affairs at Franciscan Health, said Indiana could get close to herd immunity.

“We’re vaccinating most of our most vulnerable people, and we’ve also got a decent number of folks who have actually developed natural immunity from having had COVID,” Doehring explained.

Dr. Doehring said it is possible we will need a booster shot sometime in the future. But, there is still much experts do not know about the virus.

“I think a lot of people are expecting over time, not even in the next year or so, but over time, maybe the novel coronavirus will become something that is maybe more seasonal, and you’ll see some of the variation evolve that makes it more or less contagious,” Doehring explained.

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