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Thompson Liddell, MD, discusses herd immunity, how to defeat Covid-19

Thompson W. Liddell, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Hattiesburg Clinic, was recently featured in two articles published by the American Medical Association. In the first article, Dr. Liddell explained how to slow the spread and ultimately control Covid-19.

“The way that we can defeat the virus is by limiting the amount of viral spread. If we can limit and control it, then we have so much less risk,” he explained. “It sounds too easy, but it’s a matter of getting the vaccine and stopping the virus. Once we do that, we have much less risk.”

As of today, Mississippi’s vaccination rate is around 39%, ranking last in the country after Alabama’s recent vaccination rate surge. However, vaccination rates are rising in the Magnolia State and have doubled in recent weeks, according to State Health Officer Thomas E. Dobbs III, MD, MPH.

“We’ve seen an uptick recently, which is exciting,” Dr. Liddell said. “We’re seeing vaccinations increase as Delta surges, which I think people who were holding out to see if COVID was going to be a threat and was still going to be an issue moving forward, they’re saying, ‘I’ll go get vaccinated. It’s worth it now.’”

In second article entitled “What Doctors Wish Patients Knew about Herd Immunity,” Dr. Liddell explained that herd immunity is a moving target as Covid-19 continues to change.

“The Delta variant that we’re dealing with now is more transmissible, which is going to change the percentage that we need for herd immunity,” he added. “It’s now harder for us to achieve herd immunity with the Delta variant than it was with earlier COVID.”

“People want to know what’s the threshold for herd immunity? What’s the percentage of people who have to be vaccinated?” Dr. Liddell said. “We can guess, but we get different answers because the most complicated piece of it is that COVID is changing.”

Follow the links to read the full articles:

American Medical Association:

Tate Rutland

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