Don’t count on herd immunity to protect you

People who aren't vaccinated against COVID can still get it. Here's why.

“Herd immunity” is a tricky concept for some people to grasp.

In theory, people who aren’t vaccinated against a communicable disease will be protected if enough people around them are vaccinated. The trouble with COVID-19 is that no area has reached that level yet, and even if they had, it wouldn’t be perfect protection.

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MLive reports that Leelanau County has the highest rate of immunization in Michigan. One would think residents would be protected from the coronavirus.

Health experts say that would be the case if only they could keep people from visiting there.

Ultimately, protection against COVID is dependent on who a person comes into contact with, according to University of Michigan epidemiologist Emily Martin.

“It really has to do with your own herd. That’s the people you come in direct contact with, the people around you, as well as the social network for those people,” she said.

Practical advice is that if you are not vaccinated, you’re safest only spending time with people who are.

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