Dallas County, Texas, has reached herd immunity with 80 percent of its population either being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or having natural immunity as a result of past infections, a nonprofit announced Wednesday.
Herd immunity was reached on July 4 with 46.6 percent of the population receiving two shots of the vaccine and 48.7 percent having natural immunity from a previous COVID-19 infection, Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI) said in a statement.
“While this represents good progress, it is important that we understand the work is not over. We must continue to push for vaccinations so COVID and its variants can’t again take hold and diminish the progress we’ve made,” Steve Miff, the nonprofit’s CEO, said.
The nonprofit warned, however, that the target for herd immunity could jump to 88 percent due to the more contagious delta variant hitting the area.
The new strain currently makes up 25 percent of cases currently in Dallas County.
Philip Huang, the county’s health director, said it is “concerning” that cases and hospitalizations from the coronavirus are slightly up, but says “the numbers are still relatively low” in the area, The Dallas Morning News reported.
PCCI said 49 Dallas County ZIP codes have reached the 80 percent level needed for herd immunity. Forty-five, however, have not.
“There are still significant pockets in the community that remain vulnerable,” Miff stated.
Health officials have been warning of spikes in cases where pockets of unvaccinated individuals reside as states with low vaccination rates are seeing their COVID-19 case count go up.