Dr. Marty Makary, a surgeon and professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, has made headlines for predicting the United States will reach herd immunity by April of 2021.
He made his bold prediction in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, urging experts to “level with the public about the good news.”
Makary noted coronavirus cases have dropped by more than 70% overall, and it cannot be entirely credited to the vaccines. He believes many more Americans were sick with the coronavirus than testing indicates, and therefore many more have some form of antibody protection. And if many more had recovered from a bought of mild symptoms or an asymptomatic case, that would mean there are less Americans who are at risk of catching it.
“[Herd] immunity is the inevitable result of viral spread and vaccination,” he wrote, while stressing that the possibility of herd immunity does not mean people can begin to let their guard down and urged vaccinating.
Those who with antibodies, Makary argues, can wait to be vaccinated while the more vulnerable elderly are vaccinated first.
The second and significant part of Makary’s argument is that vaccine numbers are rising, and rising quickly.
The FDA estimates that 250 million doses will have been delivered by the end of March, which would mean 150 million Americans could be vaccinated, nearly half the population.
“At the current trajectory, I expect Covid will be mostly gone by April, allowing Americans to resume normal life,” Makary concluded.