COVID-19 Vaccines and Herd Immunity

By Marc Lipsitch How many people in a population will need to get a COVID-19 vaccine before herd immunity is achieved? This question has been all over the news lately, with speculations of 70%, 80%, or other numbers. The math needed to answer this question is simple, but the question is, in my opinion, unanswerable at this point because the inputs to the math — the numbers to plug into…

Declaration of Dr. Marc Lipsitch and Emma Accorsi regarding Oregon Temporary rule 437-001-0749

Oregon’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OR OSHA) regulates farmworkers’ working and housing conditions, including conditions in approximately 330 employer-owned labor housing sites in the state. With the spread of COVID-19, OR OSHA issued temporary COVID-19 standards for agriculture that went into effect on June 1, 2020.  Although the temporary standards included other COVID-19 precautions for labor housing, transportation, and field sanitation, they critically did not increase the required living…

Protecting the Public’s Health During Protests Against Systemic Racism

Protests are important—they are a key medium for illuminating injustices that have long been ignored. Today, protests are being used as critical platforms for advocating against the structures that allow police brutality to persist and to go unpunished. However, as infectious disease epidemiologists, we recognize that protests can multiply the opportunities for COVID-19 transmission. We also know that African Americans already experience significant health inequities, including more heart disease, maternal…