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Operation Independence — Orange County’s goal to reach herd immunity against the coronavirus by the Fourth of July holiday — may be a bust if those hesitant to get vaccinated don’t act soon.

Touted as a target by which health officials would complete a countywide vaccination program, the dream is fading fast as the demand for first doses plummets and vaccine shipments from the state are turned away.

“If we want to get to herd immunity by July 4, we’d need at least 600,000 people in our community to want to get a COVID vaccine between the beginning of this week and July,” Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, a deputy health officer for the Orange County Health Care Agency, said last week.

OCHA reports about 54% of the county’s 3.2 million residents over age 16 have received at least one dose of the vaccine, a far cry from the 70% required to meet the lowest threshold for herd immunity.

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