Goldman Estimates 26% Of Americans Already Immune To COVID
“Herd Immunity” – it’s that hard-to-nail-down phrase that has bedeviled the world’s public health experts since SARS-CoV-2 burst forth from Hubei Province a year ago (new research on the ever-changing SARS-CoV-2 genome now suggests the first infections in the West emerged weeks before Chinese officials alerted the WHO on New Year’s Eve).
On the one hand, scientists, doctors and others who advocate for stringent lockdowns see “going herd” as a byword for siding with Dr. Scott Atlas and other “anti-science” crusaders like Anders Tegnell, the architect of Sweden’s no-lockdown strategy, which seemed to be working until it didn’t.
On the other, people like Dr. Anthony Fauci are now using it to describe that nebulous area where, according to epidemiologists, either enough humans have been vaccinated and/or infected with the virus that it can no longer spread as effectively, and numbers of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths start to drop. At that point, the world will reach the status that China has – or at least purports to have – right now, which is that the virus becomes more of a minor nuisance like the cold or the flu, instead of a big, scary killer.
According to science, we don’t know exactly where the “herd” threshold is, though it’s commonly believed (though not proven to the point where it’s a universally accepted scientific “fact”) to be somewhere around 70% of the population. And now, with more than 1MM people having been vaccinated in the US (in addition to the roughly 18.5MM people who have already tested positive) a team of analysts at Goldman Sachs who have published some widely read research on vaccinations and projections related to world immunity are saying that 26% of the US population already has the antibodies believed to be required to achieve lasting COVID immunity (though for exactly how long we don’t yet know).
If accurate, that would mean we’re roughly 1/3rd of the way to ‘herd immunity’ already.
What’s more, after extrapolating from data on excess deaths across DM and EM nations, the Goldman team has crunched some numbers and determined that Mexico’s rate is even higher, at 36MM, even though the number of confirmed cases is much smaller than in the US (the Mexican government has also been accused of trying to suppress case, death and hospitalization numbers after President AMLO was criticized for taking a lax approach).
Unsurprisingly, some of the worst-hit Latin American countries have immunity rates that are higher – but not that much higher – tha European nations like Belgium and Italy (which both embraced lockdowns).
Of course this research is based on a range of assumptions that may not perfectly reflect the reality. But even so, what exactly does this research suggest about how various countries have handled the pandemic?
Thu, 12/24/2020 – 10:34
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