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Barkin: Economy should surge even absent full herd immunity to coronavirus

Kitco News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. may struggle to reach full herd immunity from the coronavirus, but the economy can probably grow quickly this year even without it, Richmond Federal Reserve president Tom Barkin said on Friday.

“Individual hesitance is going to be a real barrier for herd immunity,” Barkin said in webcast comments to the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce in Virginia, citing estimates that perhaps 85% of the population would need to vaccinated to keep the coronavirus from circulating. “The good news is I am not sure the economy requires it...There still may be some caution, but I expect those who have been vaccinated to have large pent up demand -- meals, entertainment, travel...As cases come down then with vaccines, warmer weather I expect businesses to start returning to normal operations.”

Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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