COVID-19: Herd immunity harder to achieve against Delta variant, says minister

Poland’s Deputy Health Minister has stated 85-90 percent of the population will have to have to be immune at a given moment for herd immunity to overpower the Delta variant of COVID-19. The figure can be compared to the 60 percent that was required for previous variants.

Interviewed by Polish public radio PR24, Minister Kraśka told Radio Poland that the new estimations means that Poles still have a lot to do.

Poland has vaccinated some 16.5 million people out of the total population of 38 million. The figure constitutes some 43 percent of the population but millions more may have acquired immunity through contact with the virus. However, the exact number is impossible to pinpoint.

Minister Kraśka admitted that the interest for vaccinations has dropped during the summer, as daily new cases remain very low and with large parts of the population groups most at risk already vaccinated. The minister warns that an increase in infections is unavoidable unless the number of vaccinations will grow significantly in the coming weeks.

Minister Kraśka also revealed that the share of the Delta strain among new infections in Poland has been rising fast, from 8 percent to 54.5 percent.