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El Paso leaders say Covid herd immunity milestone is reached

EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser and County Judge Ricardo Samaniego held a joint briefing Monday afternoon to acknowledge that the community had reached a major milestone in its efforts to end the Covid-19 pandemic.

Emergency Management Coordinator Jorge Rodriguez told Commissioners Court earlier in the day that El Paso County had reached herd immunity because 75% of residents are now fully-vaccinated.

RELATED STORY: 4 fully-vaccinated El Pasoans among 8 new Covid deaths; 5 more Delta variant cases

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, herd immunity means that enough people have immunity either from the vaccination or from a past infection, meaning it makes it harder for the virus to jump from person to person, helping protect those who are still vulnerable to catch it.

“We have reached the 75.15% fully vaccinated so that is, in terms of herd immunity, that’s something that we’ve been working on as a community,” said Rodriguez. "We want to thank everyone; you know to include the Commissioners Court, City Council, our partners with UMC, the Health Department, the Fire Department, our great Office of Emergency Management, and everyone else that has made this possible."

The news comes as the leaders said new Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations are on the decline in the area.

“We are, absolutely, the first city in Texas to receive this level of vaccines within the community and as you all recall we were way ahead of the federal goals that they were trying to reach for July 4 so we were way ahead of those, six-weeks prior, so we are very happy to communicate that to the court, but also to the rest of the community," Rodriguez said.

ABC-7 reached out to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) about herd immunity, and what the standard is for reaching it.

DSHS spokesperson Chris Van Deusen said there isn’t enough scientific data yet to really determine the level of vaccination necessary for herd immunity.

“The estimates have been 70-85%, but with the Delta variant being so contagious, the threshold might be even higher than that,” Van Deusen said by e-mail Monday.  

El Paso City/County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza also briefed commissioners earlier Monday. He attributed the decline in Covid-19 cases to preventative measures happening within the community, including wearing masks in combination with hand washing and people staying home when sick.

Lesley Engle

Rachel Phillips

Comments

31 Comments

      1. It has to do with public health and not “control”. Just like polio in the 50s and the flu epidemic of 1917. No Americans cried about their “rights” then. Every decent American did their part. Now we live in an Era where a reprobate like Donald Trump can be elected president. Shame on our country.

      1. We will never reach 0% China Virus levels. It’s here to stay just like the seasonal flu. We have to learn to live with it. Masks will do nothing. It’s time to burn them and move on.

      1. W will, and you can’t stop me. I have been in two restaurants, one jewelry store and two grocery stores, and there were a lot of customers NOT wearing your face diapers.

  1. El mucho macho Madmike! Lll. More like the dumb retired LE. “May I get your license and insurance”. Lol. Very sophisticated job. Dang government puppet pencil pusher. An ex LE not following a city mandate. Need I say more? Idiot.

    1. You are the one with the GED alberto, you are the one in his late 60’s, living in Section Eight government subsidized housing, you are the one that has never had a real career, you are the one that has gone from one minimum wage job to another all of your life, you are the one that got thrown out of the service.

    2. And what is your job alberta? Between staying up all night, ranting and crying because you have no education or job skills that takes up all of your time. Still doing yard work on the side?

      1. I have noticed that the mask mandate is somewhat ignored. The stores themselves aren’t enforcing it. I asked one manager about it and he told me that he is there so sell items, not be a cop.

  2. Herd immunity? Yeah right. 2114 breakthrough cases. 155 breakthrough hospitalized. 31 breakthrough in ICU. 22 breakthrough deaths. The vaccines and face masks working just fine.

    1. Amazing how Hollywood elites can’t get and wear no masks. Amazing the Mayor of San Francisco won’t wear a mask she mandated. Amazing that you can’t catch it rioting or demonstrating. Amazing political elites like Obama can throw a party for hundreds, not wear a mask and that’s ok too.

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