Health & Wellness

US will not reach herd immunity for Covid19, What does that mean for Canada?

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Dec 20, 2018
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US will not reach herd immunity for Covid19, What does that mean for Canada?

with the big drop in vaccination rates in the states (not getting second doses and/or not getting any dose at all), there seems to be consensus from professionals that the US will not reach herd immunity for covid19 and likely reach only 50% vaccination, Canada has lower vaccine hesitancy so I am hopeful we will get there and based on polling so far, it seems we will get there with smaller anti-vax movement

but what do you think this means for canada especially to have our neighbour to the south which we have most crossborder traffic with to be possibly incubating new variants ? the US is unlikely/resisting vaccine passports unlike canada and many parts of the world, would it be feasible/good for us to require US visitors who come to be vaccinated and/or also continue restrictions (tests/quarantine) for returning canadians who aren't vaccinated but choose to travel?

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/03/heal ... ccine.html
Early in the pandemic, when vaccines for the coronavirus were still just a glimmer on the horizon, the term “herd immunity” came to signify the endgame: the point when enough Americans would be protected from the virus so we could be rid of the pathogen and reclaim our lives.

Now, more than half of adults in the United States have been inoculated with at least one dose of a vaccine. But daily vaccination rates are slipping, and there is widespread consensus among scientists and public health experts that the herd immunity threshold is not attainable — at least not in the foreseeable future, and perhaps not ever.

Instead, they are coming to the conclusion that rather than making a long-promised exit, the virus will most likely become a manageable threat that will continue to circulate in the United States for years to come, still causing hospitalizations and deaths but in much smaller numbers.

How much smaller is uncertain and depends in part on how much of the nation, and the world, becomes vaccinated and how the coronavirus evolves. It is already clear, however, that the virus is changing too quickly, new variants are spreading too easily and vaccination is proceeding too slowly for herd immunity to be within reach anytime soon.

The shift in outlook presents a new challenge for public health authorities. The drive for herd immunity — by the summer, some experts once thought possible — captured the imagination of large segments of the public. To say the goal will not be attained adds another “why bother” to the list of reasons that vaccine skeptics use to avoid being inoculated.

Yet vaccinations remain the key to transforming the virus into a controllable threat, experts said.
Early on, the target herd immunity threshold was estimated to be about 60 to 70 percent of the population. Most experts, including Dr. Fauci, expected that the United States would be able to reach it once vaccines were available.

But as vaccines were developed and distribution ramped up through the winter and into the spring, estimates of the threshold began to rise. That is because the initial calculations were based on the contagiousness of the original version of the virus. The predominant variant now circulating in the United States, called B.1.1.7 and first identified in Britain, is about 60 percent more transmissible.

As a result, experts now calculate the herd immunity threshold to be at least 80 percent. If even more contagious variants develop, or if scientists find that immunized people can still transmit the virus, the calculation will have to be revised upward again.

Polls show that about 30 percent of the U.S. population is still reluctant to be vaccinated. That number is expected to improve but probably not enough. “It is theoretically possible that we could get to about 90 percent vaccination coverage, but not super likely, I would say,” said Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
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Deal Addict
Nov 10, 2018
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I'm careful of the law of small numbers but I am shocked at the amount of former colleagues (highly educated and compensated) who are refusing to take the vaccine. Both for the adults and their kids.
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Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
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Short term it's good news beacause we can get our Pfizer from the Michigan plant now, and not worry about the EU clamping down on the Belgian facility.

Long term, most models predict a fall wave if coverage is less than 55%.

My hope is that once Pfizer is authorized for 12-15 year olds, the parents of those who are vaccinated will vaccinate their kids and we can get close to 60%. Moderna is doing 6 year to 12 trial I believe so that will eventually cover all school age children.

The rest will just have to get themselves infected.
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Jun 4, 2013
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angryaudifanatic wrote: I'm careful of the law of small numbers but I am shocked at the amount of former colleagues (highly educated and compensated) who are refusing to take the vaccine. Both for the adults and their kids.
Some are just waiting for more data to see what are the side effects I guess.
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Jul 16, 2019
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Its likely that Canada and other countries will require a vaccine/immunity passport or at the very least a negative Covid test. I think the numbers in the US will pick up once people see the success of vaccines and also the requirement to travel out of the country. There may be other things in play - maybe private insurance does not cover Covid complications if not vaccinated. Some universities already require vaccination to be allowed back to on campus learning. Some companies are providing a financial incentive to take the vaccine. It may not still reach the threshold of herd immunity. And if it does not and the virus keeps circulating there may be a variant that develops in the US.
If Canada maintains a need for vaccine passport or at least a negative test till at least the end of the year, we should be ok. Coupled with Canadian who travel and return will hopefully have been vaccinated before travel. Canada will likely reevaluate in the fall. I believe Canada will easily cross 70-75% vaccinated and likely both doses before Sept.
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Jul 16, 2019
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angryaudifanatic wrote: I'm careful of the law of small numbers but I am shocked at the amount of former colleagues (highly educated and compensated) who are refusing to take the vaccine. Both for the adults and their kids.
Yes, me too. Shocked that is. Unless our colleagues and friends refuse to leave Canada, there is a good likelihood that they will need a vaccine to travel. Kicking and screaming.
Even if the destination country does not require a vaccine, it is quite likely that Canada will require proof of vaccine or a negative test on return OR BOTH which will be a PITA for the unvaccinated Canadians. Or maybe a negative test and quarantine continues for those not vaccinated - visitors and Canadians.
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whats the reasoning for getting the first shot already but not the second?
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vernonco wrote: Its likely that Canada and other countries will require a vaccine/immunity passport or at the very least a negative Covid test. I think the numbers in the US will pick up once people see the success of vaccines and also the requirement to travel out of the country.
You're forgetting that even with 10 year passports (for years, unlike Canada), the number of current (valid) U.S. passports issued is only a fraction of the population, and I think those who are getting vaccinations are those who have passports (i.e., getting vaccinated is strognly correlated to having a valid passport). Currently about 43% (143m valid passports in circulation vs. population of 328m) but a good sight better than in the past.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel ... stics.html
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Aznkid2000 wrote: whats the reasoning for getting the first shot already but not the second?
Good enuff.
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In terms of what that means, no herd immunity doesn't mean certain death per say. It just means the US might need to learn to live with COVID the way we do the seasonal flu (which also mutates). The US has never been the country with the most healthy of populations so they might just decide to cope with the numbers of whoever decides not to get vaccinated. If anything, knowing the insurance companies, they could even use that to start denying claims for the non-vaccinated once the pandemic has mostly died down and only pockets of anti-vaxxers are left. The population that is hesitant on the vaccine doesn't seem to correlate with the traveling population much (namely poorer communities and rural communities) so I don't think it will affect Canada much in that sense.

Also, John Oliver did a good segment about the vaccine hesitancy in the US and to be fair, it's not just redneck right wingers who don't want the vaccine. Some marginalized communities do feel hesitancy about the vaccine due to past abuses in the US' racially charged history.
Aznkid2000 wrote: whats the reasoning for getting the first shot already but not the second?
As far as I've heard, it's the notion that the first shot gives a majority of the efficacy (anywhere from 50-70% based on studies) and the majority of the side effects are from the 2nd dose.
Last edited by uber_shnitz on May 4th, 2021 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Aznkid2000 wrote: whats the reasoning for getting the first shot already but not the second?
None. 8% of AMericans aren't showing up for dose 2. They just can't be bothered. Covid has left the American mind space.
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thriftshopper wrote: You're forgetting that even with 10 year passports (for years, unlike Canada), the number of current (valid) U.S. passports issued is only a fraction of the population, and I think those who are getting vaccinations are those who have passports (i.e., getting vaccinated is strognly correlated to having a valid passport). Currently about 43% (143m valid passports in circulation vs. population of 328m) but a good sight better than in the past.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel ... stics.html
Yes, I agree a lot of Americans do not travel out of the country. But for those that do, not having a vaccine will present some challenges. I suspect the tourism dependent countries in the Carrib like Mexico, Punta Cana may not demand vaccinations because they are desperate for tourist dollars. Its possible that some activities in some states 'may' require vaccinations. I believe some of the NBA teams have vaccinated sections already.
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vernonco wrote: I suspect the tourism dependent countries in the Carrib like Mexico, Punta Cana may not demand vaccinations because they are desperate for tourist dollars.
OTOH they cannot afford to become known as hot spot destinations. (Pun intended)
Cruise ships known for being floating petrie dishes will be likely be the first to set requirements. What they do will likely be influenced by the various countries setting standards for landings at their ports of call.
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I wonder... if they were to suspend the patents for Pfiezer and Moderna's COVID19 mRNA vaccines, would other manufacturers have the ability to produce more of the vaccine? I know there have been some calls for the suspension of these two patents, but is it possible? Technical wise I mean.
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vernonco wrote: Yes, I agree a lot of Americans do not travel out of the country. But for those that do, not having a vaccine will present some challenges. I suspect the tourism dependent countries in the Carrib like Mexico, Punta Cana may not demand vaccinations because they are desperate for tourist dollars. Its possible that some activities in some states 'may' require vaccinations. I believe some of the NBA teams have vaccinated sections already.
I think his point is that the populations of Americans that don't want the vaccine and the population of Americans that travel internationally don't have a larger amount of overlap so it may be a moot point.

The US is an interesting travel market because while it's true less than 1 in 2 Americans don't have a passport, their domestic market is one of the largest in the world (which is why their airlines make up 3 of the 4 largest airlines worldwide by revenue and passenger counts) although you could argue whether that market size is due to business travel vs leisure and other factors such as the lack of high speed rail in the US. If you're barred from going to Mexico, you can always go to Hawaii or Southern California.
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Mar 15, 2008
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My concern is how India will handle their covid situation. If they can't have herd immunity no one really has a chance. I mean-can we lock up India forever?

Was pretty obvious since last year this will be an endemic that we will have to live with. Only difference is ICU won't be back logged or at risk leading to some form of normalcy.
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uber_shnitz wrote: The US is an interesting travel market because while it's true less than 1 in 2 Americans don't have a passport, their domestic market is one of the largest in the world (which is why their airlines make up 3 of the 4 largest airlines worldwide by revenue and passenger counts)
The US is also interesting in that Big Pharma markets directly to the consumer.
Once demand wanes, I foresee Moderna and Pfizer Covid vax commercials & ads appearing alongside all the other drugs.
[OP]
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Dec 20, 2018
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angryaudifanatic wrote: I'm careful of the law of small numbers but I am shocked at the amount of former colleagues (highly educated and compensated) who are refusing to take the vaccine. Both for the adults and their kids.
is their hesitation due to the vaccines being developed so fast? i know lots of people who aren't antivax but also not getting the vaccine YET, they say will wait and see after other people go be guinea pigs first. granted these people i know are at very low risk of covid19 (Eg in a country with next to no community transmission and/or wfh and don't really interact with others)

i can understand the concerns some have as these vaccines are only authorized for emergency use (US lingo) in canada, they were approved under a special fast track process enacted in late 2020 specifically to fast track covid19 vaccines, but hope as more data is available and we stop using the problematic vaccines like the adrenovector ones (AZ, J&J) with more plentiful mRna ones and more time passes, they will be more open to taking it but then you have issue of community spread dropping and then they don't bother because the need is not there anymore (to them)
[OP]
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Dec 20, 2018
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Aznkid2000 wrote: whats the reasoning for getting the first shot already but not the second?
the side effects from first one, so don't want it again, thinking one is good enough, can't be bothered because covid risk is receding
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Aug 27, 2004
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ROYinTO wrote: The US is also interesting in that Big Pharma markets directly to the consumer.
Once demand wanes, I foresee Moderna and Pfizer Covid vax commercials & ads appearing alongside all the other drugs.
Except that Moderna and Pfizer are selling to the federal government, not retail customers... if the doses are sitting in the federal government's freezers, that is irrelevant, Moderna/Pfizer already got paid.

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