New Study Predicts End to Pandemic in Q2 2021

Photo: Dr. Maciej Boni, Associate Professor of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, study co-author

Assuming high vaccination coverage (> 28%) and no major relaxations in distancing, masking, gathering size, or hygiene guidelines between now and spring 2021, our model predicts that a combination of vaccination and population immunity will lead to low or near-zero transmission levels by the second quarter of 2021.

I came across a new study posted on January 15 that analyzes data from Rhode Island and Massachusetts to find optimal vaccine policies and predict when the COVID pandemic will end. With reasonably optimistic assumptions, the authors conclude we may be out of the woods by the second quarter of this year.

I find their 28% vaccination target plausible. It’s ambitious, but we need to be ambitious right now. Getting to 28% coverage would take about 1.1 million shots a day, 7 days a week, which seems achievable at current rates. ((330 million Americans * 2 shots each * 0.28)/163 days until July 1 = 1,133,742 shots/day).

We’ve recently passed 1.2 million shots in a day:

The study also finds that it’s best to vaccinate health workers first and then the elderly, which is what we’re doing.

In a time when the news is often grim, I find this study very hopeful!


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