People who contracted COVID-19 but are not vaccinated against the virus do not count toward the herd immunity goal.
The vaccine activates more cells during the body’s immune response, making it more effective against COVID-19 and its variants, Vail said.
Kathy McLaren, a retired registered nurse and volunteer, keeps track of how many syringes she loads with the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, April 12, 2021, at Sparrow's COVID-19 vaccination site in the former Frandor Sears in Lansing.
Vail said the immunity from having contracted COVID-19 wanes and potentially lasts around 90 days.
RNA viruses, like the flu or COVID-19, are more prone to mutations and variants and can lead to reinfection, Vail said.
Vail said a COVID-19 vaccine will help stave off a variant better than any short-term immunity from a prior infection.
The longer people go without a COVID-19 vaccine, it increases the likelihood of continued spread and the potential for new variants because the virus continues to find hosts, Vail said.
The further Michigan gets toward herd immunity and hitting the vaccination target, the lid will be put on new COVID-19 variants, Vail said.
The COVID-19 vaccines have shown they are highly effective, Vail said
That’s not the case with COVID-19 because highly effective vaccines are available and the ability to vaccinate many people quickly exists, Vail said