Philadelphia could reach herd immunity from COVID-19 by summer

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As we see the reopening of ballparks, expanded guidelines for dining, and relaxed travel restrictions, Action News asked, "When will people feel fully protected once again? When will we return to 'normal' as we once knew it?"

For Sheila Walker from Lawncrest, vaccinated or not, she won't be removing her mask or traveling by air anytime soon.

"In order to take the mask off and branch out like it used to be? About another year," said Walker.

"I think it's still got at least a good six months or more to go," said Alan Herrera of Fishtown. He says he can't wait to get fully vaccinated and fly to visit his grandchildren.

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Although vaccinations are increasing, so are case counts in Philadelphia in the last two weeks.

Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley says at the current vaccination rate, Philadelphia could reach levels of 70 to 80% herd immunity by June.

"I think it's great for people to be excited for it to feel like it will be a more normal summer, but still wear your mask," said Dr. Farley.

As for traveling, AAA says the interest is there, but people aren't booking air travel just yet.

"Road trips will be the dominant mode of transportation, but AAA predicts that people will return to flying and they will venture further perhaps than they did last year," said AAA spokesperson, Jana Tidwell.
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