Dr. Kavita Patel predicted that July Fourth will mark “a turning point or inflection” in the fight against Covid for the United States.
“If we can achieve that herd immunity … we’re going to be able to suppress the activity of this virus to the levels that we see with influenza virus,” Patel told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” on Thursday evening. “Going from a pandemic and kind of a worldwide emergency, to an endemic where it’s just a regular part of what we deal with, is something that we can fully expect,” the former Obama administration policy aide added.
While her prediction was in line with President Joe Biden‘s goal of getting the nation to some semblance of normalcy by Independence Day, she noted that regular boosters or Covid vaccines will likely be necessary moving forward, especially as transmissible variants spread.
Pfizer released new data from Israel, suggesting its two-shot vaccine is about 97% effective in preventing symptomatic Covid cases and 94% effective against asymptomatic cases. The analysis further showed high levels of protection against the highly transmissible B.1.1.7 variant from the U.K., which has also been spreading in the U.S.
As of Friday morning, 1 out of every 10 Americans has been fully vaccinated — and, in total, more than 98 million doses have been administered nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency also reported 62% of all Americans 65 and older have received at least one dose and nearly a third of them have been fully vaccinated.
Patel expects the Food and Drug Administration to fully approve the Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna vaccines “soon,” especially as more data accumulates. All there have been cleared in the U.S. for emergency use.