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Covid-19 vaccines: Logistics (2)
I was told my previous article was pessimistic because I used testing capacities to estimate vaccination capacities. However, testing may be more complex than vaccination.
I agree that testing is probably more complicated than a simple vaccine shot because, for a test, you have to insert the swab in the nose, wait, read the result and send them a few hours later to the person.
However, even though my reasoning was wrong, the conclusions were unfortunately right, or even optimistic…
For France, I estimated between 50k and 300k shots per day, based on testing capacities in July (~50k/d) and at the all-time high (~300k/d). So between 1.5 and 9 million shots per month. And as main Covid-19 vaccines require two shots, it means between 750k and 4.5M people vaccinated per month. It turns out the French government hopes to vaccinate 1.5M people in about 2 months, so 750k people vaccinated per month. At this pace, it’ll take 2 years to vaccinate 25% of the population (people at risk) and 4 to vaccinate 60% of the population (herd immunity level). Of course, this is just the beginning, and vaccination capacities will, hopefully, improve.
The German government hopes to vaccinate 60% of its population by the end of summer 2021—about 50 million people in 9 months. So 5.5m people vaccinated per month.
In the US, where the all-time high was 1.8 million tests per day (~54m/mo), Joe Biden aims “to distribute 100 million vaccine shots in his initial 100 days in office -- enough to cover 50 million people”, so about 15 million people vaccinated per month. And many experts think his plan is “very optimistic.” At this pace, it’ll take 6 months to vaccinate people at risk (~25% of the population) and 1 year to reach herd immunity (~60%).
So in most developed countries, herd immunity could be reached by the end of 2021 only. (If no mutation resistant to existing vaccines appears…). This is consistent with what Jean-François Delfraissy, President of the French Covid-19 Scientific Committee, said today:
Covid vaccines won’t have any impact during the first two quarters of 2021,
The pandemic will only end, thanks to the vaccine, in summer or fall 2021 (so between July and December 2021),
We still don’t know how long immunity will last with these vaccines.
His conclusion: the beginning of 2021 will be exactly like 2020.