Editor’s note: Get the latest COVID-19 news and instructions in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.
By increasing the frequency of booster vaccinations by accelerating the rate of booster vaccinations, the United States could significantly “flatten the curve” of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19. This is according to a new blog post written by researchers from the Commonwealth Fund.
They note that at present that around 770,000 booster shots are given daily. If this rate continues to be maintained as predicted by the authors that over the next four months COVID will result in 210,000 additional deaths, almost 1.7 million more hospitalizations and nearly 110 million more infections.
They estimate that doubling the frequency to 1.5million boosters per day could prevent 41,000 deaths and more than 400,000 hospitalizations. In addition it could stop more than 14,000,000 infections by the end of April. (The computer simulation used to simulate the period January 1 through April 30 by the researchers covers the entire period.
The tripling of the daily dose of booster shots to 2.3 million, they claim it could stop more than 63,000 deaths, nearly 600,000 hospitalizations, and more than 21 million infections. This could result in an increase of 30% in COVID-19-related deaths as well as a 35% decrease in hospitalizations in the next four months.
According to the COVID Data Tracker of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 207.7 million Americans who make up 62.5 percent of the population are “fully vaccine-free.” Of those people, 75.4 million, or 36.3%, have gotten booster shots.
This is broken into age groups: 60.4% of the 65-year-olds have had a booster and 51.2 percent of the 50- and older population and 39.4 percent of those between 18 and 18 years old.
Upping Rate Capacity
According to the Commonwealth Fund report, it is possible to accelerate the rate of booster vaccination. In the early 2021 period, more than 2 million doses of COVID vaccine were administered daily for nearly three months.
Since since then the government has stepped up vaccination capacity, including the addition of 10,000 vaccination sites, for an overall total of 90,000 sites. Moreover the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has also deployed mobile vaccination clinics, and community health centers have been hosting family vaccination days.
The US COVID-19 vaccination program has already averted nearly 1.1 million deaths according to the authors. “But new variants, when combined with waning immunity require sustained efforts,” they observe. A booster vaccination can reverse a person’s waning immunity within days. Omicron is spreading quickly and our findings point out the urgent need for boosters to be administered as quickly as possible to everyone who are eligible.
Follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information.
Content Source: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/966406?src=rss