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73% of the U.S. immune to omicron variant, experts estimate

Immunity is expected to go up to 80% by mid-March.
COVID-19 coronavirus
Posted at 10:12 AM, Feb 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-17 11:12:16-05

COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations have been declining for weeks, according to information from the CDC.

Now, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates that 73% of people in the United States are immune to the omicron variant.

Half of eligible people in the U.S. have received a Covid booster shot, according to the institute.

It estimates that as many as 80% of people could be immune to the variant by mid-March.

This is good news, according to health experts.

This level of immunity can reduce the amount of virus circulating and also make waves less severe.

This will also allow hospitals to get a break from overwhelmed ICUs.

Experts at the institute say even if cases do surge, hospitalizations and deaths will not.

They estimate about 45% of Virginians have the highest level of immunity through boosted vaccination or through vaccination plus a recent infection with omicron.

Another 47% have immunity that has somewhat waned.

Still, experts estimate a total of 80 million people in the country are still vulnerable to the virus.

They emphasize that vaccination continues to be important and people should not solely depend on herd immunity for protection.

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