Johns Hopkins doctor predicts Americans could have COVID-19 herd immunity by April

A Johns Hopkins doctor and health policy expert is making headlines after predicting we’ll have herd immunity from COVID as soon as April.

Dr. Marty Makary says COVID cases are down 76% but he is not attributing that drop solely to the vaccine.

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Makary, who is a surgeon and professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, says not enough vaccines have been distributed for the case count to drop so significantly and believes we’re actually seeing the decrease because more Americans have had COVID than what’s been recorded.

"You might think that most people who have the infection are getting tested but the reality is most Americans have hit significant barriers. The testing has been hard to find, it’s been sometimes not available, people have not had time to change their routines or they may not have has the capacity to reach out to a testing center," Makary said.

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Makary also says antibodies aren’t the only indicator that a person has immunity to COVID. He says we all have T cells and when T cells fight a virus they develop memory. The T cells can then produce antibodies when activated. Makary says this was found when studying Spanish Influenza.

"There was an amazing study where they looked at survivors of the 1918 Spanish Flu. In 2008 they identified survivors as having activated T cells even though they didn’t have antibodies in their systems," Makary said.

READ MORE: WHO: COVID-19 herd immunity won't happen in 2021, even with vaccines

Makary thinks most doctors are not talking about this herd immunity because they don’t want people to get complacent when it comes to wearing masks and social distancing. But he says we need to start preparing to get back to everyday life while still being cautious.

Earlier this week, the CDC attributed the drop in cases to the decrease in travel and large gatherings. The directed added we are nowhere near herd immunity.