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Statistics Q re: vaccination and herd immunity


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I've read that we need 50-80% vaccination for herd immunity.

We have around 255 million over 18 (I can't find a statistic for 16 and over) and around 330 million total.

So, we need a minimum of 165 million vaccinated to hope for immunity. Is that correct? 

Since we can't vaccine those under 16 yet then we'll have to have a higher percent of adults to get that immunity- unless I'm missing something?

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14 minutes ago, Soror said:

I've read that we need 50-80% vaccination for herd immunity.

We have around 255 million over 18 (I can't find a statistic for 16 and over) and around 330 million total.

So, we need a minimum of 165 million vaccinated to hope for immunity. Is that correct? 

Since we can't vaccine those under 16 yet then we'll have to have a higher percent of adults to get that immunity- unless I'm missing something?

I'm not sure we'll know what percent is needed for herd immunity until we get there. I keep hearing different numbers. And I hear enough people very vocally opposed to getting the vaccine that I don't know that it is possible without punitive measures.

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I don’t think the answers are known yet but your math makes sense to me. I really don’t believe herd immunity can be achieved until kids are vaccinated but I don’t have science to back that up, I simply think it’s common sense, even if kids have less of the receptors to make them ill  

Other factors- we don’t know how long immunity from the vaccines will last and we don’t know how frequently boosters for new variants will be necessary.  I suspect we’re in for 3-5 more years before there’s herd immunity, if not needing annual shots indefinitely like with the flu  

 

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9 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

I'm not sure we'll know what percent is needed for herd immunity until we get there. I keep hearing different numbers. And I hear enough people very vocally opposed to getting the vaccine that I don't know that it is possible without punitive measures.

Well, I know quite a few people that will get it in maybe 2 -3 years after more data is available. I know many that are in the "not yet" camp. Not that it matters. It may be a year before I am eligible.  Not complaining, but I am too young, but not young enough. I am too healthy. I am at the back of the line which suits me just fine. It will not take more punitive measure for me to get it, just a little more time to really let side effects play out.

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6 minutes ago, Katy said:

I don’t think the answers are known yet but your math makes sense to me. I really don’t believe herd immunity can be achieved until kids are vaccinated but I don’t have science to back that up, I simply think it’s common sense, even if kids have less of the receptors to make them ill  

Other factors- we don’t know how long immunity from the vaccines will last and we don’t know how frequently boosters for new variants will be necessary.  I suspect we’re in for 3-5 more years before there’s herd immunity, if not needing annual shots indefinitely like with the flu  

 

Personally I'm on the side of it will be like the flu. It's just another thing that only time will tell.

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I’m no help, but I’ve had similar questions.

My healthcare network is not offering vaccine appointments to 16 and 17yos until they “have a steady supply of Pfizer vaccine to ensure second doses.”  I don’t understand that reasoning, since they’re supposed to have same second shots available for any age.

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41 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

My healthcare network is not offering vaccine appointments to 16 and 17yos until they “have a steady supply of Pfizer vaccine to ensure second doses.”  I don’t understand that reasoning, since they’re supposed to have same second shots available for any age.

I take that to mean: 16 and 17 y/o are lower priority, and they won't use vaccine for them unless  they can first make sure they have enough vaccine not to jeopardize the 2nd doses for more vulnerable adults. makes sense to me: let's get the at risk folks fully vaccinated first before vaccinating low risk groups.

Edited by regentrude
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40 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

I’m no help, but I’ve had similar questions.

My healthcare network is not offering vaccine appointments to 16 and 17yos until they “have a steady supply of Pfizer vaccine to ensure second doses.”  I don’t understand that reasoning, since they’re supposed to have same second shots available for any age.

Isn't it just a numbers issue?  If they first-shot the teenagers too, then there won't be enough second shots for all the people who have begun immunisation?

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I don’t agree that herd immunity necessarily requires kids be vaxed.  Herd immunity means the general herd is mostly safe. 

While I would be strongly opposed to giving any of these COVID vax to my children or pregnant women, my husband is getting his moderna vax today and I have a vax appt Tuesday.  (His appt told him what vax they were giving. Mine did not yet.) 

The higher risk to adults, especially those who have higher contributing factors, makes it worth the risk of being international guinea pigs for these vax. I do not think the risk to children and otherwise healthy pregnant women is anywhere near approaching being worth changing the generally accepted ethics of not experimenting on them.  Should valid data emerge to change my opinion, then I’m open to changing it.  But it will take at least a year before that data can be validly sorted and understood. 
 

Vax aside, there’s likely a lot of natural immunity floating about too. But we don’t know how long immunity lasts. Natural or vax. And we don’t have enough info on the variants to know how effective current vax will be on those strains. Tho there’s limited info suggesting they may at least lessen the severity.

dh and I are getting the vax because:

we have comorbidity factors. (Controlled type 1 Diabetes and asthma)

while our family will continue to mask & sd, this will ease some of the tension so that our kids can relax and maybe rejoin our parish and extended family activities.  We are eager to heal our spiritual wounds over these issues.  We love them and miss our community.  Even if they are wronger than wrong sometimes.

we want to freely travel if we ever recover financially.  It’s unknown if the vax will help make that easier yet but we are hopeful. 

because the more people who do - the more we will know to determine safety for children and pregnant women later. Some people have to take one for the team with any new medicine. No one wants to. We don’t either. But here we are with it.

All that said - I think it’s just stupid that any company still used aborted cell lines. There’s no longer any excuse to use it and it discourages millions of people from taking it or trusting them.  I admit it’s a factor for me too. Why make this more difficult a decision for huge sections of the population when it just does not have to be? Not really wanting to argue about it. Just saying this aspect is a real one for many people and the companies knew it would be. 

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25 minutes ago, regentrude said:

I take that to mean: 16 and 17 y/o are lower priority, and they won't use vaccine for them unless  they can first make sure they have enough vaccine not to jeopardize the 2nd doses for more vulnerable adults. makes sense to me: let's get the at risk folks fully vaccinated first before vaccinating low risk groups.

The general population of 16 and 17yos isn’t open yet. Just teens in healthcare and with high risk conditions, so vulnerable.

25 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

Isn't it just a numbers issue?  If they first-shot the teenagers too, then there won't be enough second shots for all the people who have begun immunisation?

Second shots are supposed to be “reserved”, regardless of whether it’s a 30yo nurse, 80yo, or 16yo with asthma. A first shot isn’t supposed to be given without having “dibs” on a second already.

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You would also need to take into account people who have already had the virus and gained immunity from that.

And it is complicated by the question of how long the vax lasts vs. how long it will take for all eligible people who want the vax to get it.

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And I went yesterday to donate blood bc I wanted to get a COVID antibody result. It likely won’t be in before my vax and won’t affect whether I get the vax. But I’m curious to know.

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2 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

And I went yesterday to donate blood bc I wanted to get a COVID antibody result. It likely won’t be in before my vax and won’t affect whether I get the vax. But I’m curious to know.

Did you have Covid or are just wondering if you had an asymptomatic case? 

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1 hour ago, TexasProud said:

Well, I know quite a few people that will get it in maybe 2 -3 years after more data is available. I know many that are in the "not yet" camp. Not that it matters. It may be a year before I am eligible.  Not complaining, but I am too young, but not young enough. I am too healthy. I am at the back of the line which suits me just fine. It will not take more punitive measure for me to get it, just a little more time to really let side effects play out.

If you believe the projections from the makers of vaccines, there are supposed to be enough to vaccinate all Americans by the end of July. I think it was 300 million each from both Pfizer and Moderna (which require 2 shots) and another 100 million from Johnson and Johnson. So it will be interesting to see at what point supply surpasses demand. How many people will still be sitting on the fence waiting to see when there's plenty of vaccine for everyone and it becomes pretty clear that vaccines are drastically lowering numbers and not harming us in the process?

I'm thankful my kids are grown and able to be vaccinated. I do hope we can get to the point that we can vaccinate school-age kids (my preference would be before the next school year starts, or at least before the next possible winter surge next Novemberish). I work in a high school, and I know if my kid there was 14 or 15 and not 18 (and already vaccinated thanks to living with her disabled sister), I would be a lot more nervous about sending her in to school.

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12 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

And I went yesterday to donate blood bc I wanted to get a COVID antibody result. It likely won’t be in before my vax and won’t affect whether I get the vax. But I’m curious to know.

I wanted to give again to test antibodies but ended up getting my first shot Wed when there were tons leftover at a mass vaccine clinic. I gave in late Oct/Nov and was negative then. Ds had it late Sep/early Oct so I was curious if I'd had an asymptomatic case. 

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The bigger issue is distribution.

so there’s supposedly a place in my city where they can give up to 20k shots a day. But that’s total bull shirt bc I know we do not have the ability to staff that even if we had 20k vax and 20k people lined up to get them.  What a nightmare of logistics. I mean *maybe* if they ask Chick fil a to handle it - it might be possible. I know that’s literally what another city did bc apparently they weren’t smart enough to figure out they need 20 people to handle intake paperwork to each 1 nurse jabbing people to avoid bottlenecking and actually get people processed quickly vs waiting in a traffic jam for hours on end. 

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9 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

The bigger issue is distribution.

so there’s supposedly a place in my city where they can give up to 20k shots a day. But that’s total bull shirt bc I know we do not have the ability to staff that even if we had 20k vax and 20k people lined up to get them.  What a nightmare of logistics. I mean *maybe* if they ask Chick fil a to handle it - it might be possible. I know that’s literally what another city did bc apparently they weren’t smart enough to figure out they need 20 people to handle intake paperwork to each 1 nurse jabbing people to avoid bottlenecking and actually get people processed quickly vs waiting in a traffic jam for hours on end. 

It is a huge logistics issue. They do mass vaccine clinics here for 2k a day and seemed to have the wrinkles ironed out and are running it pretty smoothly now. We have the national guard helping and local nursing students in conjunction with health departments. I can't imagine us even having the space to do events that big here but it is more rural. The first time there were huge traffic issues but they went to doing appointments in 30 minute blocks so everyone was not showing up at once. I don't know why the didn't do that the first time. The one I went to I was only in line for an hour before my shot and there were no appointments. It was pretty impressive. 

Edited by Soror
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I have no idea how many were given at the location where I went. They were moving people right through, though. I sat, then stood up to take my coat off, then it was my turn. With questions and everything, it took maybe a minute, maybe half/minute. Then I went to the 15-minute waiting room. When I left, there were more people sitting in the waiting areas, so I might have just hit it at a good time. National Guard was handling it, with some Health Department people on hand as well. Very, very efficient.

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Alrighty. Dh is literally sitting next to me waiting his 15 minutes before we leave after his jab. We traveled to college girl’s town to get the nearest next opening and the national guard is facilitating it at their large open space barn type of community center. Quick and smooth processing.  Shot looks smaller needle than flu shot we got a few months back and less liquid in it. (Pretty shade of pink liquid.) Dh is a bit of a needle phobe but even dh says it was no big deal at all. 

I know there is worry that people who need the vax are refusing it but in my state, it’s super hard to get an appt bc they fill up fast. Like within 5 minutes of opening up.  He got this one and I snapped one up in another town 45 minutes from us for Tuesday. 
 

So far so good. Here is praying dh has little to no side affects.🤞🙏

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Agreeing with pp that the precise % of the population that needs to be vaccinated in order to achieve "herd immunity" is not yet known; nor is the duration that immunity lasts after vaccination... let alone after contracting the disease itself with no/mild/severe symptoms. This is the first time through this particular rodeo, so the best anyone is doing is making reasonable inferences off how immunity to other diseases has worked in the past.

FWIW, the CDC is working with a range of 70-85% of the population needs to be vaccinated to get there (so, 230M-280M people required to get there).  Bloomberg's tracker is converting this daily into time -- within the currently approved 2-dose regimen (so, 460-560M doses required to get there), it will at the current distribution-and-shots-into-arms rate, it would take 10 months to get to the 75% vaccinated mark:

 

987425931_ScreenShot2021-02-26at12_12_43PM.png.43af24192233f899480ff590642897de.png

 

CT announced yesterday that we're moving essentially to an age-only allocation system. The next cohort opening up 3/1 will be 55+ and educators/child care workers (that had previously been announced); but after that it's going to be strictly age cohorts - 45+, then 35+, then 16+.  Evidently the complexity and difficulty in monitoring/enforcing all the other categories is more costly and time-consuming and inefficiency-incurring that they've opted for a simpler system where all anyone has to do is document their age. And it's only a matter of time before vaccine hesitancy, not supply, is the gating factor.

 

There's no knowing for sure, but I personally don't think the cohort who's already had it will do to get us too much closer to "herd," particularly the walking-around-economically-active herd.  The confirmed case cohort is 28.4M, or 8.6% of the US population. Of that, half a million are dead and 2+M more were, recovered, and remain in LTC facilities. So even if contracting the disease *does* leave lasting immunity -- and the evidence is very wobbly on the question -- it still doesn't get us materially very far towards the 70-85% mark.

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16 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

Agreeing with pp that the precise % of the population that needs to be vaccinated in order to achieve "herd immunity" is not yet known; nor is the duration that immunity lasts after vaccination... let alone after contracting the disease itself with no/mild/severe symptoms. This is the first time through this particular rodeo, so the best anyone is doing is making reasonable inferences off how immunity to other diseases has worked in the past.

FWIW, the CDC is working with a range of 70-85% of the population needs to be vaccinated to get there (so, 230M-280M people required to get there).  Bloomberg's tracker is converting this daily into time -- within the currently approved 2-dose regimen (so, 460-560M doses required to get there), it will at the current distribution-and-shots-into-arms rate, it would take 10 months to get to the 75% vaccinated mark:

 

987425931_ScreenShot2021-02-26at12_12_43PM.png.43af24192233f899480ff590642897de.png

 

CT announced yesterday that we're moving essentially to an age-only allocation system. The next cohort opening up 3/1 will be 55+ and educators/child care workers (that had previously been announced); but after that it's going to be strictly age cohorts - 45+, then 35+, then 16+.  Evidently the complexity and difficulty in monitoring/enforcing all the other categories is more costly and time-consuming and inefficiency-incurring that they've opted for a simpler system where all anyone has to do is document their age. And it's only a matter of time before vaccine hesitancy, not supply, is the gating factor.

 

There's no knowing for sure, but I personally don't think the cohort who's already had it will do to get us too much closer to "herd," particularly the walking-around-economically-active herd.  The confirmed case cohort is 28.4M, or 8.6% of the US population. Of that, half a million are dead and 2+M more were, recovered, and remain in LTC facilities. So even if contracting the disease *does* leave lasting immunity -- and the evidence is very wobbly on the question -- it still doesn't get us materially very far towards the 70-85% mark.

Most estimates I have seen put the actual number of recovered infections at 3x or more the number of confirmed cases. 

25+% of the population does move us materially towards the 70-85% mark.

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18 minutes ago, maize said:

Most estimates I have seen put the actual number of recovered infections at 3x or more the number of confirmed cases. 

25+% of the population does move us materially towards the 70-85% mark.

If that's true, AND if contracted cases confer lasting immunity, it starts to, yes.

That's two big IFs, though, and BOTH need to hold in order for contracted cases to help.  I'll take anything that truly does help, don't get me wrong!! but my hopes for Nearly Normal continue to lean heavily on vaccination.

 

I was about to put this over in the other thread in Politics, but I'll pop it here as well in the event that it's relevant to anyone here. I'm doing a lesson plan for my CT-based ESL students on how to navigate the (maddening, multiple) appointment systems, and came across this nice Spanish FAQ about the vaccine that Yale/New Haven put up: 

 

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On 2/26/2021 at 3:00 PM, Carrie12345 said:

I’m no help, but I’ve had similar questions.

My healthcare network is not offering vaccine appointments to 16 and 17yos until they “have a steady supply of Pfizer vaccine to ensure second doses.”  I don’t understand that reasoning, since they’re supposed to have same second shots available for any age.

Some vaccines aren't cleared for under-18s, but Pfizer is cleared for anyone 16 and over. This may be a factor if supply is "lumpy".

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Just adding to the issue of herd immunity - my understanding is that part of it is a function of how contagious a disease is - that R0 factor. So that's one of the reasons that even if the vaccine is effective against the new strains (seems to be for most, but not all) then we will need a larger number of people vaccinated/recovered in order to meet herd immunity.

As for teens... here, when they opened it to people with health conditions, they did open it to 16+. However, apparently the system is not set up to work for minors so you must use the phone and not the web portal to get the appointment. It *just* opened to that tier of folks here though. I can't imagine how a minor could have realistically been eligible for one of the other tiers. Oh, wait, people experiencing homelessness opened up before chronic conditions here. So maybe then? But I think those shots are mostly being allocated through social services so the web portal may not have mattered.

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On 2/26/2021 at 10:24 AM, mommyoffive said:

Did you have Covid or are just wondering if you had an asymptomatic case? 

No idea. We’ve had symptoms a few times over the last year but rapid tests were always negative. Despite dh and I and the kids being fairly strict about masking and staying home, I have 3 household members who just can’t stay home bc of work in the public. Grocery, college campus, and restaurant.  And it’s viral in nature so 🤷‍♀️
 

My husband is thinking I got it last January because ever since that bad chest cold my asthma has been a nightmare.  I went from walking 20-30k steps every day, to really struggling to go on walks at all.  Last summer for the first time ever, I had to refuse to take the kids swimming at the lake unless other adults went with me bc I wasn’t sure I could help in an emergency swim situation. For comparison, in nov 2019, I was logging 8-12 miles a day swimming in the ocean around Curacao, then walking all over the island enjoying the sites and amazing cafes.  We were there 10 days and that was our every day.  Now sometimes for no apparent reason asthma just gets really worse  and previous meds don’t work as effectively.  Sometimes that’s just life with asthma.  But dh thinks that is quite the coincidence and wonders if I’m a COVID long hauler.  But all my blood work, heart work up and X-rays show everything is in normal order. I need to get in to a pulmonologist but it’s been a PITA to get in for 5 months, some on their part and some on mine. 

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35 minutes ago, ieta_cassiopeia said:

Some vaccines aren't cleared for under-18s, but Pfizer is cleared for anyone 16 and over. This may be a factor if supply is "lumpy".

Yeah, but you have to give ANYONE with one Pfizer shot a second Pfizer shot, regardless of age. AFAIK, combining brands has not been approved. 

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On 2/26/2021 at 11:11 AM, Murphy101 said:

All that said - I think it’s just stupid that any company still used aborted cell lines. There’s no longer any excuse to use it and it discourages millions of people from taking it or trusting them.  I admit it’s a factor for me too. Why make this more difficult a decision for huge sections of the population when it just does not have to be? Not really wanting to argue about it. Just saying this aspect is a real one for many people and the companies knew it would be. 

There are many misconceptions related to the use of fetal cells and mRNA vaccines, so this isn't directed necessarily to you, but to clear up those common misconceptions. MRNA vaccines do NOT contain fetal cells, full stop.  They were NOT used in the manufacturing of the mRNA vaccines. They used fetal cells to test that the vaccines worked before they started human trials.  Fetal cells are NOT the same thing as fetal tissue cells. Fetal cells are grown in a lab and are thousands of generations removed from the original cells that date back to 1973.  I am sorry that this makes the covid vaccine so sensitive for those of faith, but I want people to make decisions on correct information.  

The vector viruses (AstraZeneca and Jansen/J&J) use fetal cells differently than the mRNA vaccines. 

 

Edited by melmichigan
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59 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I can't imagine how a minor could have realistically been eligible for one of the other tiers. Oh, wait, people experiencing homelessness opened up before chronic conditions here. So maybe then? But I think those shots are mostly being allocated through social services so the web portal may not have mattered.

In Oregon, people with disabilities AND those who live with them or care for them were prioritized right after healthcare workers and those in longterm care. My youngest got a shot just because she lives with her disabled sister; she's 18, but there could well be others in this situation who are 16 and over (and the disabled person could also be as young as 16 here--I do know of one of my high school students with MD who got vaccinated and is either 16 or 17.) Our disabled daughter's county case manager set up the appointments for all of us--our first shot was Jan 15.

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17 minutes ago, melmichigan said:

There are many misconceptions related to the use of fetal cells and mRNA vaccines, so this isn't directed necessarily to you,

...

 I am sorry that this makes the covid vaccine so sensitive for those of faith, but I want people to make decisions on correct information. 

To be clear - I’m aware of all that you state. And note, that dh already got the vax and I plan to next week.  But the entire issue can easily be removed, which is the point I intended to make. 

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25 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

To be clear - I’m aware of all that you state. And note, that dh already got the vax and I plan to next week.  But the entire issue can easily be removed, which is the point I intended to make. 

I did my best to make a general statement, maybe I shouldn't have quoted to prevent this, but the amount of misconception and flat out false information that persists, even here on these forums, amazes me every day.  

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On 2/26/2021 at 12:40 PM, Pam in CT said:

 

There's no knowing for sure, but I personally don't think the cohort who's already had it will do to get us too much closer to "herd," particularly the walking-around-economically-active herd.  The confirmed case cohort is 28.4M, or 8.6% of the US population. Of that, half a million are dead and 2+M more were, recovered, and remain in LTC facilities. So even if contracting the disease *does* leave lasting immunity -- and the evidence is very wobbly on the question -- it still doesn't get us materially very far towards the 70-85% mark.

Right.  For herd immunity to work, it's my understanding that the immunized have to be somewhat evenly distributed in the population.  If most of those who have been immunized are sequestered, then they don't really count toward herd immunity, because they aren't circulating in the population - they make their own separate herd.  Similarly, pockets of unimmunized individuals in the community will also work against herd immunity - I'm thinking of children and schools. 

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re Out of Many Herds, One

4 minutes ago, wathe said:

Right.  For herd immunity to work, it's my understanding that the immunized have to be somewhat evenly distributed in the population.  If most of those who have been immunized are sequestered, then they don't really count toward herd immunity, because they aren't circulating in the population - they make their own separate herd.  Similarly, pockets of unimmunized individuals in the community will also work against herd immunity - I'm thinking of children and schools. 

Yes. It makes good sense to immunize the oldest cohort and those living in long term care facilities -- in the US, less than 1% of the population lives in LTC facilities but that cohort has suffered 35% of the deaths.  So immunizing that segment first and as fully as possible will make a large & fast impact on deaths, with all the associated loss and suffering to the individuals and to their families, as well as associated financial costs to individuals, their families, hospitals and insurance companies.... and also to mitigate overstrained hospitals. All that makes extremely good sense.

But prioritizing the oldest first, and particularly the segment in LTC facilities, does not have much impact on progress toward "herd immunity," since folks in LTC facilities are not walking around in the general herd; nor to The Economy!! since they are also not generally the same active leisure class seniors who go on cruises and travel groups and take the grandkids to Disney and etc.

 

Connecticut just a few days ago opted to pitch efforts to roll out vaccine according to various categories (pre-existing medical conditions, types of workers etc) within a few weeks in favor of a simple age-based sequence. It's not without controversy and kvetching, but the idea is that the management of more complicated prioritization, and the difficulty in "proving" different category status and subjectiveness and resentment about line-jumping... was adding more cost and delay and inefficiencies and deployment burden that it was worth.  Just get as many shots into arms, as there are arms thrust before us willing to be jabbed, is the thought.  The plan is for everyone 16+ to be eligible by early May, so as to get the general "herd" going as fast as folks are willing.

The school "herd" is obviously the hardest, since there isn't anything available yet for 0-15. Educators and other school employees will all be eligible as of 3/1, which is necessary but not sufficient for the full herd.

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27 minutes ago, wathe said:

@Pam in CTYes.  And one might argue that nursing homes have already achieved herd immunity for their sequestered sub-herds.  Which is wonderful. 

I just saw in a local news source that my state currently has 17 outbreaks in residential care facilities.

These people should have all had access to vaccination by about the end of January. I don't know if the outbreaks are because of low vaccine uptake percentages? I know uptake has been lower than anticipated overall.

I'd like to see more specifics. What percentage of people in care facilities are refusing the vaccine?

 

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4 minutes ago, maize said:

I just saw in a local news source that my state currently has 17 outbreaks in residential care facilities.

These people should have all had access to vaccination by about the end of January. I don't know if the outbreaks are because of low vaccine uptake percentages? I know uptake has been lower than anticipated overall.

I'd like to see more specifics. What percentage of people in care facilities are refusing the vaccine?

 

It's a good question that I haven't seen data for.

I do know that our nursing homes started vaccinating residents mid-late Jan, and that they are now getting (or have recently gotten) their second doses.  Outbreak numbers, cases, and deaths have been falling steadily.

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@maize Another though:  It takes a number of weeks before nursing home outbreaks are declared over - there will be a significant amount of lag in outbreak data.  Our local nursing home with a big outbreak that was declared Jan 8 didn't have it's outbreak status lifted until Feb 18, for example.

I also think that nursing home outbreaks, when they do happen, will be smaller.  No more massive outbreaks.  The Roberta Place outbreak was horrific:  100% of the 129 residents infected and >50% (70) died.  This occurred just as vaccinations for nursing homes were getting started.  I don't think we will see numbers like that again.  I really hope we don't.

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27 minutes ago, wathe said:

It's a good question that I haven't seen data for.

I do know that our nursing homes started vaccinating residents mid-late Jan, and that they are now getting (or have recently gotten) their second doses.  Outbreak numbers, cases, and deaths have been falling steadily.

Residential care facility vaccinations started here on Dec 28th.

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52 minutes ago, wathe said:

It's a good question that I haven't seen data for.

I do know that our nursing homes started vaccinating residents mid-late Jan, and that they are now getting (or have recently gotten) their second doses.  Outbreak numbers, cases, and deaths have been falling steadily.

My mum got her first dose of vaccine before Christmas,  her second in January. The deaths in over 80s are falling faster than for others.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55274833

Screenshot_20210227-215539_Chrome.jpg

Edited by Laura Corin
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re deaths by age cohort

12 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

My mum got her first dose of vaccine before Christmas,  her second in January. The deaths in over 80s are falling faster than for others.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55274833

Screenshot_20210227-215539_Chrome.jpg

I wish we had segmented-by-age daily (or weekly) death data in the US. I don't believe I've seen it. Anyone else?

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38 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

re deaths by age cohort

I wish we had segmented-by-age daily (or weekly) death data in the US. I don't believe I've seen it. Anyone else?

My state reports daily deaths by 5 year age bracket. I haven’t seen it nation-wide (but I also haven’t looked).

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Looks like CDC is *tracking* deaths by age cohort, but is not creating user-friendly infographic graphs like the BBC's above.  The raw data is evidently in more-or-less graph-ready form with some sort of chart-generating algorithm within the database, but it will take me some creaky effort to figure how to do the transformation. One of these evenings perhaps.

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Given the situation in South Africa and Brazil, where people who already had covid got sick again with newer variants, I'm not sure the concept of herd immunity really applies to covid at this point. Blood tests in Manaus suggested that they should have already reached herd immunity with 67% infected, but they had a serious resurgence. Vaccine trials in SA suggested that prior infection was less protective than the vaccines, and the vaccines were less effective against that variant than the original strain.

The most concerning thing at the moment seems to be the E484K mutation, which helps the virus evade antibodies. That mutation has occurred independently many many times and now exists in nearly all the variants, including the newest California variant, as well as UK, South Africa, and Brazil. I think it's likely that the virus will continue to evolve and mutate, vaccine developers will continue to tweak the vaccine to try to stay ahead of it, and we will need annual shots just like the flu.

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20 hours ago, Pam in CT said:

Connecticut just a few days ago opted to pitch efforts to roll out vaccine according to various categories (pre-existing medical conditions, types of workers etc) within a few weeks in favor of a simple age-based sequence. It's not without controversy and kvetching, but the idea is that the management of more complicated prioritization, and the difficulty in "proving" different category status and subjectiveness and resentment about line-jumping... was adding more cost and delay and inefficiencies and deployment burden that it was worth.  Just get as many shots into arms, as there are arms thrust before us willing to be jabbed, is the thought.  The plan is for everyone 16+ to be eligible by early May, so as to get the general "herd" going as fast as folks are willing.

The school "herd" is obviously the hardest, since there isn't anything available yet for 0-15. Educators and other school employees will all be eligible as of 3/1, which is necessary but not sufficient for the full herd.

Maine just decided to do the same. I have mixed feelings but I guess it makes sense for sheer numbers. Maine has one of the oldest populations in the country so vaccinating by age means more people are vaxxed early on. It doesn’t help other sectors at all though, nor those who are high risk who now have to wait for months.

A lot of complaints I’ve seen is that the system doesn’t prioritise teachers (or, of course, kids) yet the powers that be are eager to open the schools. At this point in the year though, I don’t see the point in fully opening until September anyway but I understand the frustration. As far as I understand it, no one has priority over their age group any longer—something along the lines of 60+ in March, 50+ in April and so on.

On a personal ( vs the more important public health) level, I’m concerned for DS who was supposed to be eligible next month and now has to wait until summer— I’m hoping he’ll be vaccinated before leaving for university ( I’m assuming full vaccination will be required) but there’s no way to know any longer. Preventing younger people from getting vaccinated also has the effect of keeping them largely out of the workforce this summer, devastating in a tourist economy such as ours. 

 

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re prioritization of who's eligible for the vaccine

7 minutes ago, MEmama said:

Maine just decided to do the same. I have mixed feelings but I guess it makes sense for sheer numbers. Maine has one of the oldest populations in the country so vaccinating by age means more people are vaxxed early on. It doesn’t help other sectors at all though, nor those who are high risk who now have to wait for months.

A lot of complaints I’ve seen is that the system doesn’t prioritise teachers (or, of course, kids) yet the powers that be are eager to open the schools. At this point in the year though, I don’t see the point in fully opening until September anyway but I understand the frustration. As far as I understand it, no one has priority over their age group any longer—something along the lines of 60+ in March, 50+ in April and so on.

On a personal ( vs the more important public health) level, I’m concerned for DS who was supposed to be eligible next month and now has to wait until summer— I’m hoping he’ll be vaccinated before leaving for university ( I’m assuming full vaccination will be required) but there’s no way to know any longer. Preventing younger people from getting vaccinated also has the effect of keeping them largely out of the workforce this summer, devastating in a tourist economy such as ours. 

 

Yeah, what makes sense for prioritization really depends on what metric is the (explicit or implicit) goal behind the prioritization.

If the goal is to minimize COVID deaths... you prioritize for the vaccine the segments that are dying in greatest percentages: the very old, the old, the particular medical conditions that seem (?) to be correlated with COVID complications, then maybe medical care workers, then maybe LTC personnel and other caretakers, etc.  There are real implementation and equity issues here: to require medical "proof" of pre-existing conditions puts up significant barriers -- administrative, logistical and financial barriers to folks' ability to get such notices, the subjectivity of assessment of their validity at the vaccine site, and the sheer adminstrative complexity has tradeoffs.

If the goal is to get the economy moving... you prioritize the vaccine toward the sectors that have been most badly hit by COVID: people working in food supply chains, people working in restaurants, people working in hospitality sectors like hotels.  NY is kinda-sorta going this route. Although there are limits to how well that can work until *customers are willing to go* to such places, ie..

If the goal is to get as fast as possible to "herd immunity" through vaccination... you prioritize the vaccine toward the segments most willing to TAKE it. There are equity issues here as well... as well as the sub-herd problem. If states like Maine and CT achieve 80% vaccination -- which from where I sit looks possible -- but uptake is racially and economically skewed, which at the moment looks likely -- and other states only achieve 40% vaccination -- which at the moment also looks possible.... well, better is better. But we won't have achieved "herd immunity" overall; new variants will continue to evolve briskly, and inequities will have widened.

If the goal is to use vaccination as a tool to tamp down transmission as fast as possible... then it actually might, counterintuitively, be most effective to give the vaccine first to the superspreading culprits, which seem (?) to be the 18-30 segment who are not themselves dying or getting hospitalized at particularly high rates, but (so?) appear to be the least willing to dial back their behavior and/or mask and distance to protect others.  I am unaware of any state doing this, and the idea is surely irritating; but there actually is some logic to it.

If the goal is to get the schools open as fast as possible... you prioritize teachers, then everyone else working in schools, then the parents and other household members of kids in schools (and also you put money into second shifts, more classrooms, HVAC systems, masks, and surveillance testing etc).  The problem of no vaccine yet being available *to the kids* remains... so I'd expect schools will have to allow for some version of virtual schooling to remain available for some time. But getting the teachers and staff prioritized would go a long way.

 

In CT, teachers and other school workers were already slated for eligibility starting 3/1 (before the most recent age-segment order), and still will be.  After that, age only. On balance -- even despite the acknowledged problems -- I think it's the right decision. Keep it simple and go as fast as we can.

 

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On 2/26/2021 at 9:41 AM, regentrude said:

I take that to mean: 16 and 17 y/o are lower priority, and they won't use vaccine for them unless  they can first make sure they have enough vaccine not to jeopardize the 2nd doses for more vulnerable adults. makes sense to me: let's get the at risk folks fully vaccinated first before vaccinating low risk groups.

They aren't letting 16 and 17 yr olds get vaccinated here either, even if they qualify in the current phase (or are able to get to an open event if there is leftover vaccine). I am hoping that vaccine is available for teens this summer before school goes back. 

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