Maybe if we weren’t hermetically sealed in our own little bubbles, more Americans would possess COVID antibodies.
End the madness!
More than 90% of U.S. adults remain susceptible to COVID-19, according to research published on Friday.
Using data from dialysis centers in the United States, the study, published in The Lancet, estimates that less than 10% of U.S. adults have virus antibodies, meaning everyone else is potentially vulnerable to infection.
Those figures roughly match those of a forthcoming Centers of Disease Control and Prevention study, according to CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, who spoke at a Senate hearing on Wednesday.
“The preliminary results in the first round show that a majority of our nation, more than 90% of the population, remains susceptible,” said Redfield, referring to an ongoing CDC study assessing the prevalence of antibodies to better track how widely the virus has spread.
CDC data from that study is expected to be published in the “next week or so,” Redfield added.
The Lancet study offers new details about the prevalence of COVID-19. Researchers at Stanford University studied 28,503 U.S. patients receiving dialysis in July 2020 and found that 8% of those sampled had COVID-19 antibodies — 9.3% when standardized to the general U.S. adult population.
The study raises questions over “herd immunity,” the idea that when enough a large enough population becomes immune the virus could die off. One big problem, experts have said, is that they don’t yet know enough about how immunity to COVID-19 develops to say whether antibodies provide adequate protection from reinfection.
“What we know about antibodies is that things get a little dicey…….People don’t have a uniformly consistent or strong antibody response, so the question is, ‘Can we achieve herd immunity with this particular virus, or will that not be possible?'”Dr. Jay Bhatt
The results provide “yet another data point that helps us reinforce that there are significant amounts of people in this country that haven’t been exposed to the virus,” Bhatt added. “This study suggests that we have a long way to go to get to the kind of immunity we need to move past the virus.”