WATERLOO - As thousands of regional residents sign up for their COVID shot, there's one thought on the minds of many -- will we reach herd immunity soon?
Zahid Butt, an assistant professor at the University of Waterloo's School of Public Health, noted the answer to that question is not so simple.
He told Kitchener Today with Brian Bourke on 570 NEWS there are some challenges on the path to reaching herd immunity.
"It would have to depend on COVID-19 variants and whether there are other COVID-19 variants that the vaccine can protect against. It also depends on whether there is vaccine hesitancy in the population. Obviously, for herd immunity, you will need to vaccinate the children as well, not just adults."
He adds there are still a lot of things to learn about COVID-19 to be able to reach herd immunity.
"In the future, what will happen is that when we're moving toward herd immunity, we will still be following public health guidelines and they might reopen stores, but with limited capacity and maybe there will be masking as well. So it's kind of like that scenario that we would have to continue until we reach that level of herd immunity."
He noted it is also important for people to strictly follow public health guidelines like mask wearing and social distancing to help put an end to the pandemic as early as possible.