COVID-19 cases are currently on the decline in the U.S. and effective vaccines have been developed, approved and are being distributed at record pace – all cause for celebration. However, new variants and societal fatigue are continuing dangers to the health and well-being of Americans as the government and healthcare industry race to vaccinate and protect people from the novel pathogen. As we complete our first full year living in the COVID-19 public health emergency, this blog explores two questions worth asking:
- How far are we into this pandemic (in terms of herd immunity); and
- What are our policy options to take advantage of this recent decline in cases and steadily increasing availability of vaccines?
Federal guidance has shifted to reopening and states are just beginning to lift restrictions. With no vaccine in the foreseeable future and testing still inadequate (both for active disease and presence of antibodies), many models indicate that the U.S. is poised for major resurgences in infections in the coming months.