New Model Estimates That 73% of US IS Now Immune To Omicron

Canadian Friends of Sheba Medical Center

At the beginning of the pandemic, we did everything in our power to prevent getting Covid-19. After all, little was known about the virus at the time, and we definitely didn’t want to end up in the hospital on a ventilator.

Two years later, more is known about Covid, and while many people have continued to do everything in their power to avoid getting sick, many have still ended up getting the virus anyway. Despite face masks, social distancing, and vaccination, the omicron variant of the virus, infected approximately 80 million Americans.

It’s hard to know the exact number of Americans that have been infected with omicron because not everyone who got it reported it, and not everyone who had it may have even known they had it if they weren’t required to test and if they were asymptomatic. Taking those factors plus vaccination into consideration, one model estimates that approximately 73% of Americans are currently immune to omicron.

Ali Mokdad is a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. He also works on the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model, which is what was used to calculate the 73% number. According to Mokdad, a large portion of the country having immunity to omicron is a very good thing. 

Mokdad said, “I am optimistic even if we have a surge in summer, cases will go up, but hospitalizations and deaths will not.” He explained, “We have been exposed to this virus and we know how to deal with it.”

Back in early 2020, no Americans had been exposed to Covid, and all of our immune systems were susceptible. Now, our bodies know what to do with the virus.

It is important to note that 73% immunity also estimates 27% of the population could easily get omicron at any time. Not everyone is immune. The percentage of the population with immunity also varies greatly by location. For example, more people in one city may have a higher immunity than in another city.

Andrew Pekosz is a virus researcher at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and he thinks that people who have not been vaccinated for Covid but who have gotten omicron and survived may have a false sense of security. He believes these individuals should still get vaccinated.

Have you gotten the omicron variant of Covid-19? Do you find it encouraging that approximately 73% of the country is currently immune to omicron?