Even as coronavirus vaccines are being distributed worldwide, herd immunity probably won’t be achieved until 2022 and social distancing measures will have to continue “for the rest of the year,” the World Health Organization said.
Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, WHO chief scientist, said during a briefing Monday that herd immunity — or when the majority of the population becomes immune to the virus through either vaccination or previous infections — takes time to develop, so mask-wearing and social distancing should continue.
“The vaccines are going to come,” Swaminathan said, CNN reported. “They are going to go to all countries, but meanwhile we mustn’t forget that there are measures that work and…it’s really important to remind people, both governments as well as individuals, on the responsibilities and the measures that we continue to need to practice … for the next … well for the rest of this year, at least.”
As of Tuesday, more than 91 million coronavirus cases and 1.9 million virus-related deaths have been reported worldwide, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.