Herd immunity still out of reach in Douglas County

Posted at 10:40 AM, May 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-04 11:40:29-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — In Douglas County, we have around 40% of the population vaccinated. According to experts, we need that number to reach around 70% for true herd immunity.

Along with being far from that goal, the pandemic continues to change.

Infectious disease doctor James Lawler said people are still tragically dying and now more young people are being hospitalized with severe disease.

He added that pneumonia is still the most common severe symptom but said blood clots have been found to be another.

"We've seen a number of younger people who are hospitalized with life-threatening blood clots in the lungs, in the brain, even blood clots that affect the small vessels of the heart and cause heart attacks. We are seeing a lot of that and that is probably that has gone under-recognized throughout the pandemic,” said Dr. Lawler.

He added the sad reality is the U.S. death toll is most likely higher than what is reported by the CDC.

Another main concern of his is the spread of variants, specifically the Brazil and Indian variants.

Dr. Lawler added these new variants have been found to wipe out communities that had already achieved herd immunity by previous outbreaks.

The Brazil variant is doubling every two weeks and in two months' time could be the dominant strain in the U.S., something that concerns Dr. Lawler.

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