Bob Dylan’s famous hit song in 1964 was The Times They Are A Changin’. The ‘60s was a time for changing, protesting, and demanding. Whether it was civil rights, the war in Vietnam, women’s rights, or whatever, the battle cry centered around change.
All of us have been living in the pandemic change for over a year. COVID-19 has roughly double the mortality rate of seasonal influenza. We are living under many personal restrictions for safety reasons.
Yes, many people died. Some will ask precisely how many died from the virus and how many from other sources. I believe that a few years from now, people will look back and see that the deaths from cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, obesity, and more are minuscule compared to previous years.
Seasonal influenza deaths that claim tens of thousands each year are hardly seen this flu season.
Why? Are the deaths attributed to COVID-19 or the actual cause of death? Time will tell.
Regardless, the times they are a changin’. Pandemic fatigue abounds. The light at the end of the tunnel is herd immunity. It is almost close enough to touch. I have predicted for many months that herd immunity will not arrive until September 2021. I hope I am wrong. I hope it is much sooner.
Herd Immunity Starting?
https://www.healthline.com/health-news/heres-when-we-may-have-enough-covid-19-vaccine-for-herd-immunity Scientists believe that to achieve herd immunity, 70 to 90% of the citizens must be immune from disease, either by having had it or been vaccinated against it.
The CDC tells us that nearly 100 million doses of vaccine have been delivered across the United States to various healthcare centers. However, almost 80 million people have had at least one shot. Roughly 10% of Americans have had the disease and are immune. Nearly another 10% have had two doses of the coronavirus vaccine. That is 20% of the American population by the beginning of March.
https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2020-12/slides-12-20/02-COVID-Dooling.pdf This link has a lot of great information about the vaccine and whom can go to the head of the line. I have maintained for a long time that our thinking of who to protect is backward. Vaccinate the people who can spread it quickly first and then the people who are protected behind closed doors – older adults.
It was not my call. Three approved vaccines with emergency use authorizations are available. Roughly 220 million people need to be vaccinated to reach 70% of the country. That does not include 20 million people who have survived the virus to date. What are the predictions for vaccine deliveries? Remember that the two-shot vaccines take around 30 days to offer complete protection.
Pfizer and Moderna promise delivery of 120 million and 100 million doses respectively by the end of this month. Given the extra 30 days to achieve complete immunity from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, 100 million Americans benefit by the end of April. These two companies also guaranteed delivery of another 100 million doses in June.
Johnson & Johnson has a one-shot vaccine. J&J has vowed to deliver 100 million doses by the end of June. By the end of July, over 200 million Americans should have had the opportunity to receive the vaccine. More companies will receive the FDA’s blessing to provide their vaccines to the public in the next several weeks.
Does this mean that 90% of the United States could attain herd immunity by August? Possibly. There have been problems with vaccine distribution rollout. Most issues have been corrected. The newer vaccines do not require super-low storage temperatures. That opens the door for local pharmacies and doctor’s offices to office vaccinations against COVID-19.
Home Test Kits for COVID-19
https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-frequently-asked-questions#:~:text=Yes.%20There%20are%20now,in%20minutes%20at%20home. You can buy online in some stores home test kits for COVID-19. I checked with one advertiser today. The cost is roughly $40 per test (minimum order 20), and it takes two to five days to get the test kits. The results of the rapid antigen home test in about 15 minutes. When testing is available at home, self-quarantine eliminates exposure to others.
As more people without symptoms or mild symptoms become aware, they are infected, the number needing vaccines goes down. When home test kits are inexpensive (less than $5/test) and provide nearly instant results, it is possible for a million or more people to detect the virus and self-quarantine.
Every little bit adds up to reach at least 80% herd immunity in the United States. People will continue to become infected, less and less over time. More people will become inoculated against the virus. Another group will self-test and self-quarantine. Is it possible for herd immunity to arrive in the United States before September? Yes, it is possible.
We thought that early vaccine rollouts would happen flawlessly. They did not. Will people get vaccinated? That is a big question. I have read that 20% or more do not want the mRNA vaccine. I am one of them. I am waiting for the more traditionally developed vaccine to be on the market. Even then, I will wait a couple or more months.
When another scare comes along, people will react, as they did over the Christmas holidays when new cases of COVID-19 blasted to new daily records. That might put a temporary hold on vaccinations or propel the daily vaccinations to new highs. Too many unknowns!
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com