by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
Image source: Screenshot from the NC State Athletics Twitter account September 25 showing fans rushing the field, crowding together and visibly smiling, immediately after the Wolfpack’s upset football victory over Clemson. As proof of just how unexpected the win was, it took the professional panic-pushers at WRAL — who are normally so ready with stories like this and this to foretell Covid disaster if people dare enjoy normal life such as watching football — two full days after the game before coming up with “Still reveling in upset win, Wolfpack fans not worried about possible COVID outbreak.”
This past week nearly 99.4% of people in NC posed no threat of passing along COVID-19 to anyone, and nearly five out of six (82.1%) adult North Carolinians are estimated to have either vaccine-induced or natural immunity.
Here is the NC Threat-Free Index for the week ending September 27 (click here for an explanation of the NC Threat-Free Index):
For September 27, the estimate is now nearly five-sixths (82.1%) of adult North Carolinians with immunity (vaccine-induced immunity and natural immunity), using CDC estimates of actual infections and DHHS estimates of current vaccinations and the formula outlined here. (By comparison, recently released CDC research estimated combined infection- and vaccination-induced SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence for the Central and Western North Carolina Region at 81.2% (79.3%–82.9%; see Supplement 4).)
Recall that Cooper’s standard of immunity was two-thirds (66.7%) of adult North Carolinians partially vaccinated. This standard had no regard whatsoever for natural immunity from actual infection, even though that is the stronger and more durable immunity. Vaccination is a means, not the end — the goal is herd immunity. That standard has been eclipsed: 68% of adult North Carolinians are partially vaccinated.
Furthermore, including vaccinated and naturally immune children (18 and under) into the mix, North Carolina is at 79.9% immunity.