Joe Biden: Herd immunity before end of summer 'very difficult'


President Biden said it will be “very difficult” to get to herd immunity to the coronavirus “much before” the end of the summer but that he’s hopeful next year’s Super Bowl will feature a stadium full of fans.

“The idea that this can be done and we can get to herd immunity much before the end of this summer is very difficult,” Mr. Biden told CBS in an interview that aired Sunday as part of the network’s pre-Super Bowl programming.

Federal officials have estimated that 75% of Americans would have to be vaccinated in order to approach herd immunity.

Roughly two weeks ago, Mr. Biden had said he was confident the country would be “well on our way to heading toward herd immunity” by the summer. 

Mr. Biden has set a goal of getting 100 million vaccine shots administered within the first 100 days of his taking office – a pace that isn’t much more aggressive than what was occurring at the tail end of the Trump administration.

“It genuinely is a national emergency,” Mr. Biden said.

The president said he plans to take advantage of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s offer to open up all 32 NFL stadiums to serve as mass vaccination sites.

Mr. Biden said it’s time for schools to reopen “safely” and said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is coming out with new guidelines on reopening schools as soon as Wednesday.

In many locations across the country, the push to reopen schools amid the pandemic has pitted parents juggling child care against teachers’ unions – key allies of Mr. Biden – who say they don’t want to put their members in harm’s way.

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