About the Author
Khang T. Vuong received his Master of Healthcare Administration from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. He was named Forbes Healthcare 2021 30 under 30. Vuong spoke at Stanford Medicine X, HIMSS conference, and served as a Fellow at the Bon Secours Health System.
Two factors that will influence how soon the COVID-19 pandemic will end
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the number one factor that will determine how quickly we can put an end to the pandemic is the number of people who will be willing to get the vaccine. It is suggested that if we can get 75-85% of the population vaccinated, the COVID-19 pandemic will be functionally over.
Second, according to the CDC, there are currently two authorized vaccines on the market in the U.S. - manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna. While both of these vaccines have been reported to have a 95% effectiveness, we still need to see how long the immunity effect will last after a large percentage of the population is vaccinated.
According to McKinsey research, we could reach the end of the COVID-19 pandemic by Q3 2021
McKinsey, a global consulting firm with a network of experts and researchers, released an update on November 23, 2020, which indicated that the U.S. could reach herd immunity as early as Q3-Q4 2021.
How did McKinsey come up with this prediction? The prediction model was built on several sources of actual data and assumptions. These assumptions included: how quickly the U.S. can reach herd immunity, the vaccine efficacy (the ability to produce desired outcomes), and how long the protection effect will last.
States with more robust vaccination programs will see back-to-normal sooner than those without.
Even though the end to the COVID-19 pandemic is foreseeable, not all states will have the same end date. Depending on the speed to reach herd immunity via vaccination or natural infection, each state will have a different timeline.
To determine how will the pandemic will end in each state, we used the CDC's COVID-19 vaccine tracker data and assume that the distribution of vaccines will ramp up as time goes on (up to 5X the current speed of vaccination). We also assume that the vaccine will be 94-95% effective as mentioned in the FDA analyses.
Data: CDC | Updated: Jan 16, 2021, 12:16 PM - this forecast will be updated periodically, be sure to check back weekly.
|States||% Population Vaccinated||Herd Immunity Forecast|
|West Virginia||1.18%||April 22, 2021|
|South Dakota||1.09%||May 16, 2021|
|Alaska||1.29%||May 10, 2021|
|North Dakota||0.99%||May 25, 2021|
|District of Columbia||1.17%||June 6, 2021|
|Vermont||0.66%||June 17, 2021|
|Connecticut||0.48%||June 21, 2021|
|Oklahoma||0.73%||June 24, 2021|
|Maine||0.62%||July 14, 2021|
|New Hampshire||0.42%||July 11, 2021|
|Colorado||0.82%||July 11, 2021|
|Nebraska||0.68%||July 11, 2021|
|Montana||0.77%||July 16, 2021|
|New Mexico||0.89%||July 11, 2021|
|Rhode Island||0.77%||July 22, 2021|
|Tennessee||0.55%||July 13, 2021|
|Louisiana||0.65%||August 3, 2021|
|Utah||0.33%||August 12, 2021|
|Indiana||0.56%||August 13, 2021|
|Florida||0.35%||August 20, 2021|
|Texas||0.54%||August 18, 2021|
|Arkansas||0.62%||August 23, 2021|
|Iowa||0.34%||August 29, 2021|
|New York State||0.38%||August 25, 2021|
|Wyoming||0.48%||August 16, 2021|
|Hawaii||0.51%||September 30, 2021|
|Massachusetts||0.51%||August 29, 2021|
|Kentucky||0.24%||August 24, 2021|
|Delaware||0.55%||October 11, 2021|
|Minnesota||0.49%||September 14, 2021|
|Illinois||0.72%||September 18, 2021|
|Michigan||0.49%||September 11, 2021|
|Oregon||0.30%||September 10, 2021|
|Pennsylvania||0.52%||September 22, 2021|
|Kansas||0.46%||October 4, 2021|
|Puerto Rico||0.51%||October 5, 2021|
|New Jersey||0.41%||September 9, 2021|
|Washington||0.42%||October 12, 2021|
|Ohio||0.12%||October 18, 2021|
|Maryland||0.26%||October 17, 2021|
|Missouri||0.60%||October 29, 2021|
|Wisconsin||0.29%||November 9, 2021|
|Virginia||0.33%||November 15, 2021|
|North Carolina||0.41%||November 21, 2021|
|Nevada||0.50%||December 13, 2021|
|California||0.52%||December 13, 2021|
|Mississippi||0.28%||November 28, 2021|
|Arizona||0.29%||December 14, 2021|
|Idaho||0.50%||December 28, 2021|
|South Carolina||0.38%||January 24, 2022|
|Georgia||0.21%||February 28, 2022|
|Alabama||0.28%||March 28, 2022|
Data suggests that rapid vaccine rollout and universal mask mandates can reduce daily deaths by at least half
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an independent research center at the University of Washington, publishes periodic predictions using past and current COVID-19 data. Their data has indicated that by February 2021, we could see a 50% or more reduction in daily deaths if rapid vaccine rollout and universal mask mandates are both in effect.
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This emphasizes the point that vaccine alone cannot end the pandemic, but mask-wearing is needed as well. The U.S. vaccine rollout will likely take at least six months to reach 75% to 85% of the population. During that period, COVID could still spread to vulnerable individuals and increase the number of deaths.
At the same time, easing mandates early could increase the number of deaths significantly. In this forecast, daily deaths on February 20 could increase from 12,000 to 18,932 without mandates. This also means local and state governments will not likely lift in-door dining, gathering, and traveling restrictions until at least Q2 2021.
What happens in 2022? Is COVID here to stay?
While we don't know how successful we are at controlling COVID-19 as a pandemic, we know that certain infectious diseases like the Flu and Cold tend to be seasonal and return every year. Depending on how the virus mutates and if the vaccine protects against new strains (which we already see in the U.K.), future COVID-19 infections could be prevented and treated similarly to the Flu.
Healthcare Can Be Confusing, Here Are More Resources:
- Health insurance premiums to increase in 2021 - 4 things to know
- How much does the doctor visits will cost out-of-pocket or without insurance?
- How to thank Coronavirus helpers?
- Can my dogs get coronavirus?
- How to manage coronavirus symptoms at home?
- How to tell people you may have Coronavirus?
- How to wash your hands properly?
- Where & How to Get Tested for COVID-19 in Los Angeles, CA?
Sources & references:
- The University of Washington, Forecasting COVID-19 impact on hospital bed-days, ICU-days, ventilator- days and deaths by US state in the next 4 months - http://www.healthdata.org/sites/default/files/files/research_articles/2020/covid_paper_MEDRXIV-2020-043752v1-Murray.pdf
- Ensuring COVID-19 Vaccines Work - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/effectiveness.html
- CDC - Situation Summary, Pandemic Definition - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/summary.html
- The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) - http://www.healthdata.org
- Fauci says herd immunity possible by fall, ‘normality’ by end of 2021 - https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/12/anthony-fauci-offers-a-timeline-for-ending-covid-19-pandemic/
- When will the COVID-19 pandemic end? - https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/when-will-the-covid-19-pandemic-end
- Stat: https://www.statnews.com/2020/11/16/modernas-covid-19-vaccine-is-strongly-effective-early-look-at-data-show/