By Raetta Holdman

(CBS4) – With more Coloradans and Americans getting their COVID-19 vaccines, the focus is shifting to when herd immunity may be reached. CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida said it is a bit of “good news, bad news” situation during his weekly question and answer session on CBSN Denver.

He said the medical community is in the midst of a discussion about what happens with the coronavirus.

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“You know in our country, we may never reach true herd immunity,” he said. “We may have problems where COVID becomes something that we are really going to be controlling, not eradicating.”

Hnida said there are a number of reasons why that could be the case, with the first being variants but also pointing to people who are vaccine-hesitant and those who simply refuse to get the vaccine.

“That is what is really going to enable COVID to be with us. It will become, we think, maybe an influenza or flu-like situation where there is some seasonal variability, year to year. There may be a need for a booster vaccine.”

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He did say the situation is better in Colorado.

“Our state really does a great job. We use the vaccinations that are allocated to us. The majority of Coloradans do want to get vaccinated so it’s really great news, especially when you compare us to other states.”

He said in some states and some areas half of people or sometimes as high as three out of four are not getting vaccinated.

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“I think of what we can look forward to here in Colorado, we can keep up our rate of vaccinations — that really is the magic formula: vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. We are hoping to get some place, maybe in mid-summer, where we can get back to some sense of normalcy.”

Raetta Holdman