Despite media claims that “We Can’t Turn the Corner on Covid,” the numbers of Covid-19 cases, new hospitalizations, and deaths nationwide peaked and started to decline around the beginning of September. The combination of this milestone, new findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing widespread levels of vaccination and natural immunity, and improved availability of treatments suggests that, outside of isolated pockets, Covid-19 is likely to become a diminishing health risk in the United States.
The CDC looked for evidence of prior infection or vaccination in the blood of approximately 1.5 million blood donors from around the country between July 2020 and May 2021. Based on the antibodies found in the specimens, they were able to distinguish between those who had been vaccinated and those with antibodies resulting from infection. As of the end of May, the combined vaccine and infection seroprevalence (indicating the proportion of the population with antibodies and some level of immune protection) was 83 percent for those 16 and older (children under 16 can’t donate blood). Over 20 percent had antibodies indicating an earlier infection and recovery. Based on the infection-induced seroprevalence, the researchers estimated that there were actually 2.1 infections per reported Covid-19 case.