Flashback: Back in January, Biden predicted herd immunity by summer

Despite those predictions, COVID-19 cases remain at all-time highs

Shortly after taking office in January, President Biden expressed confidence that increased vaccine access for Americans over the coming months will lead to herd immunity by summer. 

The comments came as the recently inaugurated president pledged to achieve 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in his first 100 days as president. 

When reporters asked the president when anyone who wants a vaccine might be able to get one, Biden said: "I think we’ll be able to do that this spring." And looking forward, he added that "I feel confident by summer we’ll be well on our way towards herd immunity and increasing access." 

"Herd immunity" means that enough people have immunity, either from vaccination or from a past infection, to stop the uncontrolled spread of a disease. However, herd immunity doesn’t make any one person immune, and outbreaks can still flare up. It simply means that a virus is no longer easily jumping from person to person, helping to protect those who are still vulnerable to catching it. 


Despite the president’s "herd immunity" predictions in January, COVID cases – fueled by the deadlier and more contagious delta variant of the virus – remain at all-time highs. 

According to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unvaccinated people face a far greater chance of death from the COVID delta variant. 

Over the past week, the U.S. has had an average of 136,000 COVID cases, 11,750 hospitalizations, and more than 1,000 days over the preceding seven-day period, Reuters reported, citing CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. 


Those latest figures came a day after President Biden issued a sweeping executive order mandating that all federal workers and contractors that do business with the federal government be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser and The Associated Press contributed to this report.