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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Some public health experts and scientists now believe that the U.S. is unlikely to reach herd immunity, and that the coronavirus will instead become "a manageable threat" that circulates for years, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Many emerging viruses become part of the viral ecology. The number of hospitalizations and deaths that endemic COVID-19 causes could depend on several factors, including how often people are reinfected, vaccine effectiveness and adoption, and virus mutations.

What they're saying: “People were getting confused and thinking you’re never going to get the infections down until you reach this mystical level of herd immunity, whatever that number is,” White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci told the Times.

  • “That’s why we stopped using herd immunity in the classic sense,” he said. “I’m saying: Forget that for a second. You vaccinate enough people, the infections are going to go down."
  • “The virus is unlikely to go away,” Rustom Antia, an evolutionary biologist at Emory University in Atlanta, said. “But we want to do all we can to check that it’s likely to become a mild infection.”

Go deeper: How the coronavirus pandemic could end

Go deeper

John Frank, author of Denver
May 3, 2021 - Axios Denver

Colorado battles COVID vaccine hesitancy with get-out-the-vote tactics

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Colorado is using tried-and-true get-out-the-vote tactics to boost COVID-19 vaccination rates across the state.

Why it matters: The novel approach is part of a broader effort by state public health officials to reach herd immunity by targeting populations that are hesitant or too busy to get vaccinated.

May 3, 2021 - Health

There's not just one kind of vaccine hesitancy

Expand chart
Data: The Harris Poll; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Around 10% of Americans aren't very eager to get the vaccine, but they're not really hesitant either — they're just waiting to get it until they get around to it, according to new Harris polling.

Why it matters: Making vaccination more convenient will be a big part of the difficult process of getting more shots in arms, now that many of the most eager Americans have gotten their shots.

May 3, 2021 - Health

Colorado extends mask mandate while easing restrictions for vaccinated

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis. Photo: Chet Strange/Getty Images

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) on Sunday extended the state's face mask mandate for another 30 days but loosened restrictions for groups of people vaccinated against COVID-19.

Details: Under Colorado's new order, people gathering indoors in groups of 10 or more are no longer required to wear masks if at least 80% of them is vaccinated against the virus, per a statement from Polis. 

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