COVID Projections

I place this here as a reality check to myself, suggesting how long this pandemic still has to go, and as a landmark for when some anti-vaxxer says something like “Nya nya, see? The infection rates fell on their own. I knew I didn’t need to get vaccinated!” To which I respond with this quote from on 2-3-21:

– We estimate COVID-19 herd immunity (>70% of population immune) will be reached in the US during summer 2021 (Jun-Aug 2021). At a high level, herd immunity is a concept in which a population can be protected from a virus if enough people possess immunity.

– At the time herd immunity is reached, roughly half of the immunity will be achieved through natural infection, and the other half will be achieved through vaccination.

– New infections may become minimal before herd immunity is reached. But due to imported cases and localized clusters, it is unlikely that new infections will drop to zero until at least 2022.

– Deaths may drop to low levels even earlier (May-Jul 2021), in part due to a vaccine distribution strategy that initially prioritizes high-risk individuals. Once deaths fall to minimal levels, we may see a relaxation of restrictions.

– Summarizing the above findings, our best estimate of a complete “return to normal” in the US is mid-summer 2021 (June/July 2021).

– We estimate roughly 70-75% of the US population (230-250 million) will receive at least one dose of the vaccine by the end of 2021, with children being the last group to receive it (fall 2021).

– We estimate around 30-40% of the US population (~115 million) will have been infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus by the end of 2021. That is an additional 50 million infections since mid-December 2020.

– This translates to a final US COVID-19 death toll of roughly 600,000 ( ±100,000) reported deaths, or ~300,000 additional deaths since mid-December 2020.

(Frank T. pointed me to this source, thanks Frank!)

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