AS many as a third of Americans might already have some level of coronavirus immunity, analysis suggests.
Almost 110million people — or 33.2 percent of the population — have either been infected with the virus or received a first vaccine dose, reports the New York Post.A Covid vaccination and testing center at a hospital in Brooklyn, NYCredit: Getty Images - Getty
The Centers for Disease Control estimates the true number of infections could be more than three times higher than the official figure.
So far almost 26million positive tests have been recorded in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University.
But the CDC estimates some 83.1 people had the virus between February and December.
Another 5.6million infections were recorded by the Covid Tracking Project between January 1 and Thursday.
Experts say those who have been exposed to the virus — even with no symptoms — are likely to have some level of immunity, at least in the short term.Nurses treat a coronavirus patient in Los Angeles, one of 100,000 currently in hospital across the USCredit: Reuters Joseph Ginzberg, 70, prepares to get the Moderna jab at a pop-up vaccination center in ManhattanCredit: Reuters
On top of that, some 21.7million Americans have now had at least one vaccine shot, the CDC says.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines need two jabs to achieve full effectiveness of around 95 per cent.
But Pfizer reported its vaccine is roughly 52 per cent effective at preventing illness after one dose, according to data published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
And Moderna’s provides 80.2 per cent protection after a single dose, according to a document submitted to the Food and Drug Administration.
The gives a total of 109,892,726 Americans who are likely to have some level of immunity, the Post reports.
The 436,799 people who have died and the 101,000 currently in hospital are excluded from the total.
The Post's analysis does not account for patients who have been vaccinated after recovering from coronavirus, so there will be some double counting.
However, the figures offer hope of an end in sight as they suggest America is well on the way to achieving a measure of herd immunity.Vaccine doses are prepared to be administered at Fenway Park baseball stadium in BostonCredit: Getty Images - Getty More than 21million doses have been given across the USCredit: Getty Images - Getty
Experts say it is not clear what proportion of people need to be immune to stop the virus spreading in the community.
Some estimate at least 75 per cent immunity is needed to squash the pandemic — but even a lower figure could help slow transmission.
It comes as encouraging figures show infections are falling across the US, with a downward trend in 41 states.
Nationally, the rolling seven-day average is down to 158,739 positive cases a day — around 30 per cent lower than three weeks ago.
Hospital admissions are down 10 per cent on last week, although deaths are up 7 per cent.
Experts say deaths lag weeks behind infections, and the rise could be tied to gatherings over the Christmas holidays.
Around 6.5 percent of the US population has been vaccinated since the first jab on December 14.
CDC data shows 1.2million jabs were administered daily since President Joe Biden was sworn into office January 20.
The President has set a target of 100million jabs in his first 100 days, and plans to have all American adults vaccinated by summer.
Last night OJ Simpson was trolled after tweeting a photo of him getting a jab while wearing a "The Juice" face mask.
And there was fury as it emerged Guantanamo Bay inmates will get the vaccine before many vulnerable Americans.
US likely to start vaccinating children by late spring or early summer