Fauci: 70-90% COVID herd immunity necessary

The top US expert on infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has suggested that herd immunity against the coronavirus could be reached if 70 to 90 percent of the population are vaccinated or become infected.

Fauci, who is helping to guide the US government's coronavirus response, shared his view in an interview with The New York Times released on Thursday.

Asked about what portion of the population must acquire resistance to the coronavirus, Fauci answered, "We really don't know what the real number is. I think the real range is somewhere between 70 to 90 percent, but I'm not going to say 90 percent."

Fauci initially estimated immunity at between 60 to 70 percent, as other experts did.

Weeks before the interview, Fauci said he had hesitated to publicly raise his estimate because many Americans seemed hesitant about receiving vaccines.