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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Less than 10% of the United States population has coronavirus antibodies, a study published in The Lancet on Friday found.

Why it matters: The findings suggest that the U.S. is far from herd immunity without a vaccine. Herd immunity — wherein widespread outbreaks are prevented because enough people in a community are immune to a disease — is one tactic public health experts are hoping could help squash the virus for good.

  • Yes, but: The Trump administration has repeatedly suggested that reopening America's economy could boost herd immunity.
    • Public health officials say a vaccine should remain the priority on the path toward normalcy.

What they're saying: CDC Director Robert Redfield also said Wednesday at a Senate hearing that preliminary data shows more than 90% of Americans remain susceptible to COVID-19.

  • Redfield urged Americans to continue wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands and staying home when sick.

Between the lines: There was variance in antibody frequencies depending on location. Areas like New York City and New Jersey, where the virus festered this spring, saw higher rates of antibodies.

  • But more rural areas like Idaho and the Dakotas saw lower antibody rates.
  • Overall, researchers estimate the prevalence to be roughly 9.3%

Methodology: The Stanford University study looked at blood samples from 28,500 dialysis patients in 46 states.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Transplants rebound from COVID lull
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America
  3. Politics: Government website for free COVID tests launches early
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older
  5. Variant tracker
Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Political consultants pocket taxpayer cash

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Members of Congress are turning to the same political consultants who got them elected to blast out taxpayer-funded communications from their government offices, records show.

Why it matters: While those members are barred from politicking with official funds, the firms have expertise in boosting elected officials' images for political gain and are in high demand for both campaign and government work.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Transplants rebound from COVID lull
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America
  3. Politics: Government website for free COVID tests launches early
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older
  5. Variant tracker