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As the U.S. rushes to administer COVID-19 vaccines, one California hospital has seen its infection rates among staff drop to single digits after likely achieving herd immunity.
So far, 90 percent of the staff and 100 percent of emergency physicians at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to CBS News.
The UC Davis Medical Center did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
Hospital officials told the news station that they're already seeing the impact.
At the peak of the pandemic in December, UC Davis Medical Center had 231 employees with confirmed cases of COVID-19. As of Wednesday, that number was less than 10, CBS News reports.
So far, the U.S. has administered more than 57 million doses of the vaccine. Around 16 million of those were second doses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the World Health Organization, the percentage of the population that needs to vaccinated against COVID-19 to achieve herd immunity is unknown — though, it will need to be a majority.
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Dr. Nate Kuppermann, director of the emergency department, told CBS News that having a majority of his staff vaccinated eases staffing concerns and feels like "this pressure lifted from our shoulders."
"So before the vaccine came out, on any given day, we would have between 100, 150 employees that were sick with COVID and were calling in sick who were not coming in," he said. "And now I think it's single digits. I mean, there's less than 10."
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Across the entire University of California Health System, the number of COVID-19 cases among staff has dramatically dropped in recent weeks from 431 per week to 171 per week, CBS News reports.
Fewer health care workers out on any given day can ease the strain on the entire system.
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As of Feb. 18, California ICUs were at about 85 percent capacity, according to the New York Times' hospital tracker.
However, there are still regions across the state where the ICU capacity for COVID-19 patients remains above 90 percent, including across much of Southern California.
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