Experts concerned about natural immunity as vaccination rates slow across US

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Posted at 8:34 AM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 09:34:46-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — New COVID-19 cases are declining across most of the country but almost all states are seeing a trend of lower-than-average vaccination rates. Experts warn that relief from the pandemic could be fleeting in regions where few people get vaccinated.

Case totals nationally have declined and because of this, states and cities have been dropping virus restrictions and mask mandates, even indoors.

On Friday, the most recent day data is available, Tennessee reported another 140 reported COVID-19 cases. Two COVID-related deaths were reported, which are numbers extremely lower than this time last year.

Even with some vaccine hesitancy, experts do say some states are seeing increased immunity because there were high rates of natural spread of the disease.

But Dr. Leana Wen, a public health professor at George Washington University, said she is concerned that the natural immunity of those who have been exposed to coronavirus may soon wane.

She’s worried that states with low vaccination rates could become hot spots. She says it’s important that even those exposed to the disease get vaccinated because natural immunity does not last as long as vaccine immunity and the levels of antibodies are lower.

The Tennessee Department of Health says over a million residents have gotten the COVID vaccine.