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Is it safe out there yet? Colorado town hall addresses questions about vaccines, herd immunity

The Denver Gazette and 9NEWS assembled a panel of some of the best health experts in the state to answer your questions.

COLORADO, USA — Is it safe?

After a year of worrying about that question rather intensely, we’re getting closer and closer, and closer to an affirmative answer. But our rapid mobilization on vaccines — and simultaneous reopening of schools, restaurants and workplaces — is a complex dance, raising a blizzard of fresh questions as we zero in on answering that primary one.

And now is the time to really pay attention. Science shows we’re all likely to push harder and take more risks the closer we are to the finish line.

> Video above: How will we know when the pandemic is over?

More than 2 million Coloradans have been fully vaccinated now, which is 43.8% of the eligible population. We’re hearing from state health officials that the ultimate goal is 70 percent vaccinated, which would give us “herd immunity,” the threshold when most of the population is immune to COVID-19, providing indirect protection to those who are not immune. 

RELATED: Colorado coronavirus latest case, vaccine numbers for May 11

But will we reach herd immunity in Colorado? What if we don’t? Can it still be safe?

RELATED: What happens if herd immunity isn't achieved in Colorado?

Is herd immunity even the right metric to measure how safe we are? 

And what about our kids, is it safe for them? Is it necessary to vaccinate kids? Are there risks?

The Denver Gazette and 9NEWS are teaming up to try to answer these homestretch questions as we get closer to a return to normalcy. We’ve assembled a panel of some of the best health experts in the state to provide you with the best information available.

> Watch the full town hall below: