DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Medical experts in North Texas have pushed back COVID-19 herd immunity projections in Dallas County to later in the summer due to slowing vaccination rates.
Steve Miff, president and CEO of Parkland Center of Clinical Innovation (PCCI), said Wednesday the organization updated its forecast to reach herd immunity from mid-June to later in July. The forecast is based on 80% of the county’s population either having recovered from the virus or having received the vaccine.
According to Miff, the county is currently at 64% herd immunity. The organization said the slowing vaccination rates are having a “negative impact” on the forecast.
Miff said there is an “ample supply of vaccine and no wait times” but that the rates keep dropping. Around 35% of the Dallas County population has been vaccinated.
“The longer it takes us to contain and crush COVID, the more chances the virus has to create new mutations that could be more transmissible, more deadly and more elusive to previously developed antibodies,” Miff said.
“We encourage everyone to receive their COVID vaccination sooner than later. The quicker we can reach herd immunity the sooner we can return to safely interacting with our friends and families, teachers return to classes without fear and reduce the strain on our first responders, hospitals and their staff,” he added.