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When will life get back to normal? Dr. Hotez says we need 60% vaccinated

Right now about 50% of Texas adults have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. Dr. Peter Hotez says at 60% we could see a drop in virus transmission.

HOUSTON — There were more signs of a return to normalcy across the country this weekend, from the Kentucky Derby to the opening of Disneyland.

But Texas still has work to do.

"We're still quite aways from that," infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Hotez said. "Texas is still in the bottom half of states in terms of vaccination rates."

Texas saw a drop in COVID-19 cases but that drop has started to plateau. Vaccination rates are also starting to slow down.

"We have no choice, we have to do this," Hotez said.

Hotez said we cannot let vaccination rates continue to slow. Right now, nearly 50% of Texas adults have received at least one dose. Only about 36% are fully vaccinated.

RELATED: Texas ranks 45 out of 50 states for fully vaccinated people

"That should be our first target, hitting 60% [of total population, including children]," Hotez said. "As we hit 70% we could start seeing a dramatic slowing of virus transmission."

In other words, that's when life can get back to normal. The longer it takes to hit those metrics, the longer COVID-19 will be a threat.

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy could be the biggest obstacle to getting back to normal

"We can get there we just have to keep pushing this," Hotez said.

Hotez is still hopeful we can hit that 75% threshold before the end of the summer.

In Harris County, at least 50% of the adult population has received at least one dose. It's good, but not good enough.

"Right now, it's a race for the last mile to vaccinate as many as we can over the next couple of months," Hotez said.

KHOU11 YouTube playlist on COVID-19 vaccine stories: