The modelling of Nobel laureate Romer shows that the vaccination rate in the United States needs to be more than twice as fast as now.
The U.S. government is vigorously accelerating the vaccination of citizens against the novel coronavirus.
As of the afternoon of February 1 local time, the number of people in the United States who have given at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine (26.5 million) has exceeded the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States (26.3 million).
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of that day, the number of coronavirus vaccines had been injected in the United States exceeded 32.22 million.
It is estimated that the average daily vaccination in the past week has exceeded 1.3 million doses compared with the average daily dose of less than 1 million two weeks ago.
However, according to U.S. media reports, overall, the speed of vaccination in the United States is still difficult to keep up with expectations, and the vaccine supply allocated to the states is difficult to meet the demand, which has led to the delay in vaccination time for some front-line workers.
How far is the United States from the goal of herd immunity at the current vaccination efficiency?
Huang Yanzhong, a senior researcher of global health at the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, professor of the School of Foreign Affairs and International Relations and director of the Center for Global Health Studies of West East University, said in an interview with First Financial Reporter that it depends on the proportion of people in the United States who have obtained antibodies after natural immunity and the effectiveness of vaccination.
Sex.” In terms of vaccine effectiveness (95%) given in Western countries, at least 63% of the population is needed to achieve herd immunity, according to the formula in the medical journal The Lancet. He said.
The government and enterprises cooperate to accelerate vaccination.
The federal government has delivered 49,936 million doses of vaccines to states, with 64.5% of the doses completed, according to the latest CDC data. This proportion was only 52.7% on January 24 a week ago.
There are many reasons why vaccination work is not running smoothly at an early stage, including data reporting lag, logistical challenges and demand-side hesitation.
The Biden administration recently announced an expansion of supply to states and earlier notification of the number of vaccines available to states each week.
The White House’s COVID-19 response adviser Slavitt said on January 27 that the number of vaccines supplied to states per week will be increased by 16 to 10 million over the next three weeks from now to help states better plan their schedules.
The private sector has also contributed to accelerating vaccination.
Business giants such as Wal-Mart, Starbucks and Microsoft are working with local governments to help vaccines get vaccinated as soon as possible through their logistics and technical resources.
Starting the week of January 23, Wal-Mart provided vaccination services to people through its stores in seven states, and is expected to inject 10 to 13 million doses of vaccines per month.
In Washington, Starbucks, Microsoft and Costco are working with the Department of Health to meet the state’s goal of 45,000 vaccinations per day. Convenience store chains or drugstore brands CVS, Kroger, RiteAid and Walgreens also play a role in vaccine distribution.
In addition, many states in the United States temporarily converted some sports facilities and venues into large-scale vaccination sites. In California, Disneyland and the home courts of the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres have been transformed into major vaccination centers. StateFarm Arena, a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona, is also used as a vaccine center.
Vaccination faces many problems.
At present, the average daily dose of more than 1.3 million doses has basically met Biden’s speed requirement of “100 million doses in 100 days” on the first day of office.
The Biden administration recently proposed that the average number of vaccinations per day in the United States will soon reach 1.5 million.
But the modelling of Nobel laureate economist Paul Romer shows that only 3 million vaccinations per day can the United States stay ahead of the rapid spread of new variants of the novel coronavirus, which means that vaccinations are more than twice as fast as it is now.
Meanwhile, most states in the U.S. are adjusting their vaccination priority population range, and it has also caused a lot of confusion. Previously, according to the guidance of the CDC, the first priority group was medical workers and nursing home residents, and the second priority group was front-line essential workers and adults aged 75 and above.
But at least 28 states across the U.S. and Washington, D.C., have begun to vaccinate older people over 65 and have them jump to the queue before the appointment of front-line workers, according to a New York Times survey.
That would make workers at higher risk of exposure to the virus wait longer before they can be vaccinated, according to experts, union officials and workers.
“If we are obsessed with the total number of people who are vaccinated, we may end up exposing those at risk to ongoing infection,” said Richard Besser, president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and former acting director of the CDC.
“There are a lot of people getting vaccinated, but they don’t fall into the high-risk category,” said Bill Moss, executive director of the JHU International Vaccine Access Center.
If this situation persists, we see that it will take longer for severe and death to subside.”
Older Americans in the United States also encounter huge obstacles in vaccination.
Facing over-loaded registration sites and congested phone lines, they sometimes have to wait in line all night for appointments.
Many experts suggest that the United States can follow the British experience to extend the vaccination interval between two doses to allow more people to get the first dose of vaccine.
In response to this proposal, Huang Yanzhong told the First Financial Reporter: “If it is really because of a shortage of supply, it is understandable that the interval between the two doses has to be extended, but the problem is that this practice is still an unknown field, and everyone is crossing the river by feeling the stone.
Some people even say that the dose should be reduced to see the effect. On the other side of the United States, it is also said to increase the dose of each dose.
In a word, everyone is trying to maximize the scale of vaccination, but the specific impact will be, but the results are still unknown.
The pandemic situation in the United States has temporarily eased.
After 200,000 new cases per day during the U.S. holiday season, the level of infections has steadily declined over the past three weeks. According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of new cases in the United States on February 1 was 130,000.
“New infections, hospitalizations, emergency department visits and deaths are all down,” said Jay Butler, CDC’s deputy director for infectious diseases. While these trends are encouraging, I want to emphasize that numbers are still high across the country.” Butler said at the briefing on January 31.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said last week that the decline in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in most parts of the country should not be attributed to the effectiveness of vaccinations, and that people should continue to be as cautious as possible.” I don’t think the results we are seeing now are significantly affected by a vaccine, but maybe the effects of the vaccine will soon appear.” He said that the current decline of the pandemic is more likely to be the result of a normal decline after the surge in cases during the holiday season.
However, at least in nursing homes in the United States, the decline in the pandemic is particularly obvious.
According to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, more than 32,500 new cases were reported in nursing homes in the United States that week ended December 20, 2020. But this number has since fallen by more than 45% in four weeks.
Meanwhile, more than 3.5 million vaccines were vaccinated in nursing homes as of January 30, according to CDC data.
Ashesh K.Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, said that the number of cases in nursing homes is falling rapidly and earlier than other people, indicating that vaccination is achieving the desired effect.