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Vaccine Hesitancy and the Future of the Pandemic

May 3, 2021 10:39 a.m.
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There’s an article today in the Times which reports that we may never reach ‘herd immunity’ for COVID or at least that we may not do so for a very long time. The article strikes me as needlessly alarmist, in part because the ‘news’ being reported is as much a question of semantics or people being informed about epidemiology as it is some new negative development in the course of the pandemic. The details are probably what you would expect, a mix of vaccine hesitancy, more transmissible viral strains and viral evolution that slowly chips away at vaccine immunity all working together to put ‘herd immunity’ out of reach. But I want to zoom in on the potential role of vaccine hesitancy or politics-driven resistance to vaccines.

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