Head of Maine CDC says Delta variant changes herd immunity goals

Updated: Oct. 3, 2021 at 12:17 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Shifts in the spread of the coronavirus fueled by the Delta variant have changed goals for herd immunity in the state.

That’s according to the head of the Maine CDC.

From the outset of the pandemic, vaccination rates around 70% of the population were a low end goal for achieving possible herd immunity.

Dr. Nirav Shah says that the Delta variant sets the number much higher.

“Greater infectiousness of the Delta variant, much greater infectiousness, the percentage of folks that you need to be vaccinated, in any population to prevent an outbreak or exponential growth has gone from 70% for the pre-Delta, now to over 90%, or around 90%,” said Shah.

The latest numbers from the US CDC, which include vaccinations performed by the VA and the Department of Defense, put Maine’s vaccination rate at 68.4%.

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