Members of President Biden's COVID-19 team are telling officials the U.S. may not achieve COVID-19 herd immunity until Thanksgiving or early winter, two senior administration officials tell The Daily Beast.
Vaccine distribution is lagging across the U.S. and uncertainty surrounds whether the shots are reaching underserved populations hit hardest by the virus. And while the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are still effective against the highly transmissible coronavirus variants identified so far, evidence suggests they may be less so. The yet-to-be-approved one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine has also proved less effective against the newer variants. Scientists are also concerned about the emergence of more strains in the next few months that may be more resistant to vaccines and immunity attained by previous coronavirus infections, The Washington Post reports.
The reported warning comes after Biden indicated earlier this week that it'll be "very difficult" to reach herd immunity before the end of the summer with the current vaccine distribution rate of 1.3 million shots given each day.