It will take SEVEN YEARS to end the coronavirus pandemic by getting shots in the arms of 75% of the world’s population – but the US could reach herd immunity by the 2022 New Year, vaccination calculator shows
- At the current pace of vaccination, it will take seven years for the world to reach herd immunity to coronavirus, according to a Bloomberg analysis
- So far, 119 million doses of vaccine have been given worldwide
- The US has given one or more doses to just 8.7% of its population
- Vaccination campaigns in the US are on track to hit President Joe Biden set a goal of more than 100 million shots given in his first 100 days in office
- US should reach herd immunity by New Year’s Day of 2022, Bloomberg’s vaccination calculator suggests
The coronavirus pandemic will drag on for another seven years at the current rate of vaccinations worldwide, new calculations predict.
More than 4.5 million vaccines are being administered a day, for a total of 119.8 million shots given worldwide.
The US has vaccinated 8.7 percent of its population thus far, at a rate of 1.3 million shot given a day. After a slow start, the rollout is picking up steam and saw a record 1.7 million people vaccinated Thursday.
But all of this depends on whether the vaccines are effective against variants like those that emerged in South Africa and Brazil, which appear to dull the potency of shots.
Countries like the US and UK will reach herd immunity within a year at their current vaccination paces, while countries like China and Canada could take up to six years
Meanwhile, Israel is shaming the world with the speed of its rollout.
It has already vaccinated 58.5 percent of its population and is on track to reach herd immunity within two months at its current pace of 135,778 shots a day, Bloomberg predicts.
The tiny island of Seychelles, off the eastern coast of Africa, currently ranks second in the vaccination race, with 38.6 percent of its population having gotten one or more doses of vaccines.
The United Arab Emirates, the UK, and Bahrain are also beating the US with vaccinations given to 11.8 percent or more of their populations – although the US is closing the gap.
The UK in particular has sped ahead, with an earlier start, a better synchronized program and three vaccines already authorized there.
It has given at least one vaccine dose of vaccine to 15.7 percent of its population.
At its current rate of 438,421 shots given a day, the UK will reach herd immunity well before the end of the year.
But the pandemic is a global affair by definition, and if a country doesn’t reach herd immunity the virus could take hold there as well as be exported to other nations, risking an international resurgence.
Costa Rica, for example, has given one o more doses to just 0.9 percent of its population, and vaccinated only 1.14 out of every 100 people.
And another threat has emerged: ‘super-covid’ variants.
Nine vaccines are authorized worldwide, and at least two variants – those that emerged in South Africa and Brazil – might evade them.
While those made by Novavax, AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson are each about 60 percent effective in South Africa and Brazil, where variants have taken hold.
Test tube studies suggest that both Modena’s and Pfizer’s vaccines are likely ‘protective’ against variants, but the efficacy of each was diminished.
It likely means that their protection won’t last as long. How they really work against variants in the wild remains unknown.
Variants add immense urgency to the global vaccine campaign.
If herd immunity is reached, the variants’ spread will be limited and new ones won’t have a chance to arise.
But if the vaccine campaign moves to slowly, variants that don’t respond as well to vaccines could become dominant, new ones could arise, and the end of the pandemic could stretch even further out of reach.