HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — We've heard of the words "herd immunity" to get past the pandemic, but experts say our goal is to reach "normality". Our WZDX news reporter hears from health officials on how vaccinations and following CDC guidelines play a role.
"If you're looking at both the people that have been sick and the people that have been vaccinated, we probably would hit it, somewhere around June of this year. That does assume that people continue to get vaccinated though," says UAB School of Public Health Professor, Dr. Suzanne Judd, PhD.
UAB officials believe Alabama should reach "normality" by September from vaccinations alone, and those infected will need their doses too.
"It looks like their immunity will start to fade, three to nine months depending on the individual," says Judd.
Huntsville Hospital Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Ali Hassoun, says infected people shouldn't rely on immunity from the virus. "A lot of people think about 'oh, we're going to be immune'. The reality is it's very variable and that's why we encourage vaccinations, as soon as you're eligible for it," Hassoun.
There are even cases of people who just became eligible for the vaccine after infection, but caught COVID once again. Hassoun says those people will have to wait to be eligible for vaccination.
"You're gonna need to wait, eight to twelve weeks basically, again," says Hassoun.
Hassoun believes people shouldn't attend large gatherings also. Some upcoming events, including the Trash Pandas Games allows full capacity which seats at least five thousand people. However, "If they want to go, the best thing they could do is physical distancing, and I would say six feet a part and masking," he says.
"We're not out of the woods yet. We still have a ways to go, and these events could lead to a lot of people getting sick all at one time," says Judd.