Coronavirus

How Far Are We From COVID-19 Herd Immunity?

A rough and optimistic projection for the pandemic ending sooner rather than later.

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The COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the United States is picking up speed. So far, nearly 74 million Americans have received one dose and around 40 million have completed a full vaccination regimen. Herd immunity will be attained through a combination of vaccinations and infections. Herd immunity is achieved when there are so many vaccinated and formerly infected people that the virus has a hard time finding immunologically unprotected people to infect.

Some researchers had earlier suggested that the herd immunity threshold for the COVID-19 coronavirus would be relatively low, but more recent research finds that around 60 to 80 percent of the population will have to be immune to end the pandemic. For argument's sake, let's set the U.S. herd immunity threshold at 70 percent. How close are we to achieving herd immunity and post-pandemic normality?

Nearly 30 million Americans have so far been diagnosed with COVID-19. However, it is well-known that a huge number of infections go undiagnosed or are asymptomatic. Unfortunately, U.S. public health authorities have failed to establish a COVID-19 antibody blood test population surveillance system that could have provided this information. However, a couple recent reports of antibody blood test surveys offer hints as to just how extensive COVID-19 infections have been so far.

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association used the nationwide blood testing results of about 62,000 people who were applying for life insurance. On the basis of those data, the researchers estimated "that 15.9 million asymptomatic or undiagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infections had occurred in the United States as of September 30, 2020." At the time, the total number of diagnosed cases stood at just over 7.5 million.

Another new study by University of Texas researchers analyzed population and patient COVID-19 antibody results and preliminarily report that about 20 percent (5.8 million) of Texans have so far been infected with the coronavirus. Interestingly, in the population sample, 29 percent of Texans younger than 19 years of age have COVID-19 antibodies. Total diagnosed cases in the Lone Star State, meanwhile, are about 2.7 million.

The results of these recent serological surveys suggest that undetected infections are twice as high as diagnosed cases. Since some 30 million cases have been diagnosed, the serological surveys suggest that 90 million Americans have actually been infected with the virus so far. This infection rate is close to the 98 million estimate made by data scientist Youyang Gu in his path to normality projections.

So assuming herd immunity kicks in when 230 million Americans (70 percent) are either vaccinated or have been infected and recovered, how far are we from that goal? Let's just do a very rough and optimistic calculation by assuming significant immunity among the 74 million Americans who have already gotten at least one dose of vaccine, plus the infection number of 90 million. That adds up to 164 million people who currently have antibodies against the virus, which is about 70 percent of the way toward the goal of 230 million people.

At the current rate of 2.5 million vaccinations per day, another 75 million Americans will be partially or fully vaccinated in the next month, bringing the total number of people with antibodies to 240 million by the middle of April. It is worth noting that in Israel, where about half of the population has so far been inoculated, COVID-19 cases are plummeting.

Of course, these rough calculations are complicated by the fact that there is some overlap between vaccinated and previously infected people; one-dose versus two-dose vaccines; and the spread of more transmissible and deadly virus variants, which implies a higher overall herd immunity threshold.

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  1. The hospitals are fine. Lift all restrictions now.

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    3. 15 days to flatten the curve!

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    4. Israel is not a reliable entity to quote since it is an apartheid state and they have made minimal effort to inoculate Palestinians during the Occupation.
      Given the preponderance of Palestinians, less than half the population has been vaccinated.

      1. Hilarious coming from a “woke” cancel culture member attempting to create an apartheid state in America.

    5. Yep – plenty of room for you to go to the hospitals and die of COVID19.

    6. This pandemic hasn’t even gotten its feet wet yet. Wait until the vaccines start killing. screwed.

      1. wrong spot…sorry.

  2. How terrible is this disease if most people show no symptoms??

    1. Shut up and submit.

    2. Obviously serious enough that we need a vaccine, duh. Oh, and serious enough that we need to destroy the economy, cheat during the election, destroy an entire generations’ education and lifetime wealth, vastly increase opioid abuse and death, and cause a vast increase in suicide and domestic abuse. Why do you hate the science?

    3. Ignorant grandma killing snowflake. Go cry harder

    4. I work in a hospital, and I’ve lost a close relative and a good friend/colleague to COVID. Young and healthy not as likely to get complications, older and sicker you are more likely, but that is not definite as I’ve seen old people get through it with minor problems and healthy people die from it [stroke]; fact is you just do not know what is or is not going to happen until you have it. And is is still around, not as bad as the past few months, but definitely not gone [yet].

      And trust me, I am just as sick of the government exploitation of this as anyone. The sooner we can lift the bullshit [and much of it is bullshit] the better.

    5. How terrible is Russian Roulette since you usually live through it?

    6. The Covid-19 disease itself is horrible enough, because plenty of survivors, even healthier and/or younger people either die from Covid-19, or, if they survive, they often end up with permanent cardiac, neurological, and/or pulmonary damage, as a result.

      1. “Often end up” Seriously? Citation needed.

        1. Well, two or three anyhow.
          mapol’s full of shit.

  3. Why on earth do I need mask if I am vaccinated? If it offers no immunity, we wasted a lot of money.

    1. As I understand it: immunity can be categorized into “effective” and “sterilizing” forms. Effective immunity is defined as being immune to symptomatic infection, though the pathogen can establish enough of a foothold to survive or replicate enough so the body can shed it while it persists. Sterilizing immunity is when the pathogen is unable to establish any foothold and does not survive the contact. I think this happens when the antibody density is sufficiently high. As with all such things, there is a kind of sliding scale between effective and sterilizing. At some point the amount of the virus that survives is too low to be a statistical threat to anyone else.

      So until the vaccines are shown to provide sterilizing immunity, the authorities will “in an abundance of caution” say to use masks. Likewise they will remind you to not eat unbaked cookie dough containing raw eggs. (Side note: during vaccine development challenge tests were done on both mRNA vaccines. The virus was entered into the respiratory system of monkeys who had been vaccinated. The amount of virus was tested about daily in the nose and lungs. It was absent from the lungs a day later and down by one or two magnitudes in the nose. Within two days it was undetected. Strong early evidence of sterilizing immunity.)

      1. So it is stupid.

        1. As has been everything that has been done re the WuFlu. It has now been one year since “15 days to flatten the curve”. That’s a mighty long two weeks, is all I’m saying.

          1. You misunderstood. I distinctly remember (fifty) two weeks to flatten the curve.

            1. Ah. That must be it. Damn this age related hearing loss. For a moment, I thought the government might have lied to me.

        2. No shit it’s stupid.

      2. Those who are vaccinated can, and do, get infected; they do not get very sick or die, but that still carry it [and can infect those who can get very sick and die]. I wish that were not the case, but it is. Vaccination protects you, not others who are not; and just because you’ve had COVID does not mean that you cannot get it again.

        1. Reinfection rate is currently around 100/120,000,000

          1. Or as mathematicians say: “statistically zero.”

            1. It probably is zero. Diagnosis is never 100% accurate, so some people must have been diagnosed with COVID when it was actually something else. A few of them catch COVID now, and it looks like reinfections, but it’s not.

          2. Re-infection very rare. We have long lasting anti-bodies.
            Take your silly vaccines. Bunch of pussies we became.

        2. yes it does…for all practical purposes. what you are claiming would mean that neither infection nor vaccination kept people from getting covid and that lockdown measures and masks and such would have to be maintained for ever.

      3. “Likewise they will remind you to not eat unbaked cookie dough containing raw eggs.”

        FYI, it’s not the raw eggs that’s the problem in cookie dough, it’s the raw flour.

      4. It’s really the flour, not the eggs.

      5. It does not take a rocket surgeon to understand that a mask (or 2 or 4 or 10) do not prevent infected individuals from generating a virus-laden aerosol cloud. As such, anyone walking through such a cloud will inhale this aerosol, regardless of the number of masks worn, because the overwhelming majority of masks are not fully sealing. Which is why 14 European studies concluded masks are ineffective at preventing transmission. If that is not enough evidence, look at the infection rate between US states that enacted mask and lockdown mandates versus those that didn’t. The curves are virtually identical. Any high school science student can correctly conclude that masks are a joke at preventing transmission.

    2. The problem with letting vaccinated people stop wearing masks is how do you prove that you’re vaccinated without a vaccine passport?

      Personally I’d rather keep wearing my mask than have every grocery store clerk demand to see my papers

      1. “Letting”?? Fuck off, slaver.

  4. We also need to worry about communities with low immunity that could have outbreaks for years.

    1. Yes, like tens of thousands of untested illegals being bussed around the country.

    2. Like antivaxers?

    3. No. Those communities need to worry about themselves. The rest of us are under no obligation to protect them from themselves.

  5. Why does it matter? COVID-21 through 50 should have us covered for the next thirty or so years.

    1. What happened to covid-20?

  6. Oh stop it with your facts and logic! Boring!

    WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!! ARRRGGH!

  7. Unironically this magazine refers to us as a herd.

    1. Peanuts don’t constitute a “herd” at all.

      I believe the plural is “nodule” or “Monkey nuts” in the UK.

      1. Aren’t you the kiddie diddler?

        1. fuck off tulpa

  8. Define herd immunity as is applies to a rapidly mutating virus in a highly mobile population.

    The term originated from observations in veterinary medicine.

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-67362031924-3/fulltext

    So I put it out as a question because the term seems to have different meanings today.

    1. You’re full of good news, Echospinner. It was a very interesting article (the contagious abortion example was eye opening) on the term.

    2. Meh. This particular virus is remarkably non-lethal, and viruses have bo evolutionary reason to get more lethal- rather the opposite. They obviously have an incentive to get more contagious, but a more contagious and even less lethal virus is hardly something to get worried about.

      1. Generally true, but I wonder if that applies to this virus, since there is so much asymptomatic spread. If most of the spread takes place before symptoms, then killing the host might not be advantageous, but it would not limit spread as much as it would if it were a virus that is spread mostly by symptomatic carriers.

        1. Asymptomatic spread is an unproven assumption.

    3. That was an interesting article. So, do the Moari have a “racial herd-immunity”? Enquiring minds want to know.

    4. Actually the virus is mutating much slower than most RNA viruses like the HIV or influenza

    5. COVID-19 is not a “rapidly mutating virus”, so chill out.

      1. I dunno this one is still new in the world and we already know of four different flavors. It seems the new ones can run faster. Brazil is getting slammed now. Now they are saying that one of the vaccines is not working against the South African variety.

    6. So I put it out as a question because the term seems to have different meanings today.

      Yup. And if you look at the textbooks, they talk about 90-95% of the herd being directly immune so that the other 5% are effectively immune. Not 99+% being naturally immune prior to exposure so that 0.04% of the herd, who was near death anyway, dies.

    7. The “herd immunity threshold” (HIT) is the level of population immunity sufficient that an infection, on average, results in less than one additional infection. That is what is meant by herd immunity.

      This is well known, and the fact that It came originally from veterinary medicine is irrelevant.

      Ignoring heterogeneity, the HIT is 1 – 1/R0. R0 for COVID19 is roughly 2.0 – 5.0 (the higher values for the most contagious new variants). Do the math.

      Heterogeneity in susceptibility and transmission lowers the HIT. But good luck coming up with a reasonable estimate of that.

      1. This is well known, and the fact that It came originally from veterinary medicine is irrelevant.

        Untrue. The fact that it came from veterinary medicine prior to widespread availability of bacterial and viral culturing for such purposes, let alone immunoglobulin and PCR testing, is critical. “Contracted rabies” as defined by “staggering, irritability, and foaming at the mouth” is a much different medical phenomenon both individually and socially than “contracted rabies” as “tested positive via PCR” or “demonstrated immunoreactivity to”. It’s the is/ought problem built into the testing method.

        Ignoring heterogeneity, the HIT is 1 – 1/R0. R0 for COVID19 is roughly 2.0 – 5.0 (the higher values for the most contagious new variants). Do the math.

        If you ignore heterogeneity, all you’re doing is shuffling numbers. Agreeing to ignore heterogeneity; the R0 being 3.5 +/- 1.5 isn’t going to leave you with any sort of useful detection or prevention model. If you implement a change, such as masks, and the R0 is cut in half, was the change that effective or were you just really shitty at calculating/understanding/picking R0? Now imagine the effect of the change you implemented is marginal at best.

        1. This is well known, and the fact that It came originally from veterinary medicine is irrelevant.

          And this sets aside the fact that herds don’t generally understand virology, communicate it to one another, and take action based on that communication to any effective degree.

  9. From nature, 3 hours ago:

    “17 March — Concerns emerge over a COVID vaccine’s prowess against a variant

    A leading COVID-19 vaccine might offer only limited protection against a coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa.”

    To lazy to link as I’m on my phone, but easy to find.

    Have fun with your permanent lockdowns.

    1. The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants highlighted the need to better understand adaptive immune responses to this virus. It is important to address whether also CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses are affected, because of the role they play in disease resolution and modulation of COVID-19 disease severity. Here we performed a comprehensive analysis of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses from COVID-19 convalescent subjects recognizing the ancestral strain, compared to variant lineages B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, and CAL.20C as well as recipients of the Moderna (mRNA-1273) or Pfizer/BioNTech (BNT162b2) COVID-19 vaccines. Similarly, we demonstrate that the sequences of the vast majority of SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes are not affected by the mutations found in the variants analyzed. Overall, the results demonstrate that CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses in convalescent COVID-19 subjects or COVID-19 mRNA vaccinees are not substantially affected by mutations found in the SARS-CoV-2 variants.

      https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.02.27.433180v1?fbclid=IwAR2wGK4OYD_y2R7wD-xIoFGoG2MfVZiTQQXftQyAux4X2nJZovYb6XCLdjI

  10. Considering children are not really effected, the 60% is probably just people over 16. And, really, deaths will go away once the over 65s are inoculated, well, except the extremely fat, but, IMO, they kind of deserve it. We body shame for a reason.

    1. Hey, that is disproportionally a lot of GOP voters culled from the herd (old and fat folks).

      GO TEAM RED!

      1. Ill give you a lol! I guess my town must be the exception to your observation because its a sea of blue purple pink haired old whales land flapping around

      2. Except the places where it is spreading are latino and black. Look at the LA map. Westside, basically nobody. Central LA, must be at 50% or more natural immunity at this point.

        But I don’t care. Fat people make me want to throw up.

        1. Yeah but Cali votes Dem about +14.

          A million fatties could die in Cali and it wouldn’t matter politically with all the hotties voting Dem.

        2. I have been informed that there are no fat people in LA. Everyone is thin and beautiful.

          1. You are misinformed. There are actually three fat people in LA. They each work an 8 hour shift to make everyone there feel better about themselves. I think it was Pelosi who created the original position. Not sure what the pay is but I’m guessing more than it should be.

            1. Of course, given they’re SEIU workers. AKA, “Housekeeping!”

  11. This number and its adjustments seems pretty accurate to me. But it is appalling that this is still being guessed at. If I were guess at why this is so, I would say its because the CDC is corrupt. Willfully or accidentally corrupt idk.

    The CDC wanted this to spread rather than to get stomped out. For it to be a very healthy environment for the virus to grow and mutate – relatively unconstrained – so it could mutate. And over time, for those mutations to all be some ‘virus soup’ that is both seasonally endemic and able to become a highly profitable addition to the annual flu vaccine regimen. Good for bureaucrats and pharma. And with the fear mongering and behavioral adjustments (few of which having a damn thing to do with anything ‘public health’ related) , good for pols and Karens and the pajama class and the 1%

    1. it is appalling that this is still being guessed at. If I were guess at why this is so

      I guess Jeffy is even worse at understanding irony than logic.

    2. Contrary to the article’s implications, CDC has done random sampling serological surveys.

      They did one in Arizona late last summer, shortly after out summer huge surge, so antibodies should still have been easily detectable.

      From that, they estimate that our actual infection rate is 4X to 5X our detected case count (number of distinct individuals who test positive, not number of positive tests).

  12. How Far Are We From COVID-19 Herd Immunity?

    One more election cycle?

  13. I don’t think it matters when we achieve herd immunity, really. All that really matters is that we do what we’re told by the experts. Doing what we’re told, that’s what being intelligent, smart, and educated is all about. That’s why my dog is the most intelligent, smart, and educated person I know.

    Roll over.

    Sit up.

    Stay home.

    Good dog.

    1. All that really matters is that we do what we’re told by the experts.

      Fauci is coming out with a kid’s book endorsed by the CDC:

      One Mask, Two Mask, Red Face, Blue Face

      1. Horton hears the WHO.

  14. If we behave ourselves, we might be able to spend the 4th of July with a limited # of our relatives, distanced, double masked with no touching.

    Carter got kicked out of office because he told winter-time America to turn down the thermostat and put on a sweater.

    1. Are you suggesting that there is hope that the Dems might get kicked out of office for trying to turn this into an ongoing state of affairs?

      1. That would be nice, but mask and “distancing”* is the new virtue, and I know of a number of people who would wear one permanently; you know, “if it just saves one life [I can feel great about my little sacrifice, how about you?..]”

        *from one’s own family, or whatever they’re told

    2. I think a lot of votes against Carter were because his administration failed to deal effectively with the Iran hostage crisis. It was no coincidence that the hostages were released on 1/20/1981, the day of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration. That in combination with his futile attempt to deal with OPEC sealed his not being elected.

  15. I am very concerned that the H&R poster ‘LovesTrumpsTinyMushroomDick1789’ is the Asian spa shooter.

    He went off the deep end weeks ago, is a Georgia resident (North Fulton) and is a self described ‘God and Guns conservative’.

    Thank the Lawd he is under arrest now.

    1. Wasn’t funny this morning either pedo.

  16. And meanwhile a million illegals are allowed in without testing and sure as hell are not going to lock down. The hypocrisy is beyond belief at Reason..we all know why..come on and say it..certain groups need to be eliminated or reduced in power..old world grudges again..

    1. A million illegals?

      Fox News just said it was 14,000 and they are shitting their pants and skirts.

      Is it a million or 14,000?

      1. Proof all you think about is children.

        1. Biden let in a million illegal immigrants and a clown.

      2. 14000 minors you dishonest shit.

    2. Time to spin the Wheel of Right-Wing Narratives…

      Today it lands on: Panic About Illegals!

      It doesn’t matter how few or how many illegals are in the country, what they are doing here, or why they are here. They are “rushing the border”, “invading the country”, “on welfare”, “stealing jobs”, and the perpetual foil for endless right-wing panics. They are the group that right-wingers stomp on so that they can feel better about themselves. The right-wing version of untermenschen.

      1. Panic About Illegals!

        So, a fact known for years, that tuberculosis, a lung disease perpetuated by coughing in enclosed spaces, has been kept circulating in the US by illegal immigrants doesn’t set of any alarm bells?

        I guess Jeffy is even worse at understanding irony than logic.

        1. Let me get this straight. We are overreacting to COVID-19, but tuberculosis is a major problem. When is the last time you have hear of anyone you know catching tuberculosis.

      2. https://www.zerohedge.com/political/cbs-reports-there-are-now-13000-kids-cages-border

        As Summit News’ Steve Watson detailed earlier, the crisis at the border continues to accelerate, as CBS News reported Tuesday that there are now more than 13,000 unaccompanied migrant children being held in prison like cells by US authorities.

        The report notes that many more are being turned back every day, and that there are now so many trying to cross the border that the US is on track this year to encounter more illegal immigration than in the past TWENTY YEARS.

  17. “Let’s just do a very rough and optimistic calculation by assuming significant immunity among the 74 million Americans who have already gotten at least one dose of vaccine, plus the infection number of 90 million. That adds up to 164 million people who currently have antibodies against the virus, which is about 70 percent of the way toward the goal of 230 million people.”

    You can’t add them together that way because not everyone that got the vaccine has also not been infected. For example, the first person I know to have been infected was also the first person I know that got the vaccine.

    Assuming that the being previously uninfected and getting a vaccine are uncorrelated, the correct math is to multiply the portion who were not infected (76%) by the portion who did not get the vaccine (71%). That results in 54% of the population not having any immunity. Or, 46% with immunity and 62% of the way to 230 million with immunity.

    Equally important is that we do not have vaccines for children. So, it will be very hard to get to 70% without almost everyone that can get the vaccine getting the vaccine.

    1. So like a poster said above whats the point of getting it if it doesn’t reach their number or change their edicts?

    2. Agree with the math. Think it’s also a bit lower than that because I’m not sure that the number of positive tests is the same as the number of unique people tested positive. There’s is no chance that individuals are being tracked like that. The only thing being tracked over time and accumulated are the positive PCR test results.

      1. It’s almost a guarantee that not every positive test reported is unique.

    3. Yes, I was going to point this out, as I’ve been doing since vaccinations began. The biggest mistake we are making now is vaccinating people with prior infections. People who have had confirmed cases of COVID or positive antibody tests should be moved to the very back of the vaccination line. The reason we are not doing this is because the idiot Fauci and the CDC refuse to admit, despite overwhelming real world data, that prior infection confers future immunity. The death of anyone now from COVID who was eligible to receive the vaccine but could not otherwise get one due to availability is entirely on Fauci and the CDC. This point needs to be hammered repeatedly until Fauci is removed from “public service” and the CDC is completely “restructured.”

    4. Equally important is that we do not have vaccines for children.

      Is it? Data shows that children don’t present or transmit the virus at the same rate adults do.

    5. They’re also not counting the people who will be exposed to the virus over the coming month, though. Certainly people will continue to gain immunity the old-fashioned way.

      As a ballpark calculation it’s fine. It’s enough to show that this past winter’s spike will be our last national spike and that most of the people who could die of Covid have already done so. Hospitals are certainly no longer at risk of “collapse”. In other words, it’s time to open up and get on with life.

  18. “How Far Are We From COVID-19 Herd Immunity?”

    The next mutation away from starting over from scratch, and it may already be here in that new variant circulating in parts of California.

    1. Yes, you pants-shitters have been saying this for some time, yet it has not come to pass. Every new mutation we’ve seen is still inhibited by the available vaccines, but I’m sure that the next mutation will be totally different because reasons.

    2. The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants highlighted the need to better understand adaptive immune responses to this virus. It is important to address whether also CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses are affected, because of the role they play in disease resolution and modulation of COVID-19 disease severity. Here we performed a comprehensive analysis of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses from COVID-19 convalescent subjects recognizing the ancestral strain, compared to variant lineages B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, and CAL.20C as well as recipients of the Moderna (mRNA-1273) or Pfizer/BioNTech (BNT162b2) COVID-19 vaccines. Similarly, we demonstrate that the sequences of the vast majority of SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes are not affected by the mutations found in the variants analyzed. Overall, the results demonstrate that CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses in convalescent COVID-19 subjects or COVID-19 mRNA vaccinees are not substantially affected by mutations found in the SARS-CoV-2 variants.

      https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.02.27.433180v1?fbclid=IwAR2wGK4OYD_y2R7wD-xIoFGoG2MfVZiTQQXftQyAux4X2nJZovYb6XCLdjI

  19. Gov Cuomo should hang onto his seat like Trump did, imo.

    Both sexually assaulted many women but let’s fuck over Cancel Culture! Fuck them!

    1. Can’t we get rid of both CancelCulture AND Cuomo?

    2. “…Both sexually assaulted many women…”

      turd.
      Is.
      STILL.
      Full.
      Of.
      Shit.

    1. Dịch vụ Facebook giá rẻ, chất lượng tốt nhất việt nam Tại: https://vsm.vn

  20. “How Far Are We From COVID-19 Herd Immunity”

    It occurred last thursday at 10:13AM.
    Take off your “cloth face covering”. open your business, and hug your kids.

    Just remember Fauci is a liar. Source citation: Fauci.

  21. Why not just directly account from double counting of people who are both vaccinated and previously infected, rather than doing the dumb calculation. It’s not hard.

    Assuming one dose is enough, 74 million is ~22% of the population. 90 million infected is ~27%. It makes sense to assume these are generally uncorrelated – Covid is widely distributed and doesn’t care about our vaccinations priorities.
    Odds of being both vaccinated and formerly infected is 27% x 22% = ~6% of the population. So 22% + 27% – 6% = 43% of the population is already immune.

    I don’t know why you keep using a herd immunity number of 70%. That’s nonsense (It’s based on a model that assumes everyone has an equal chance of contracting the virus from each other individual in the population, which is patently false – social contact networks are significantly smaller than the entire population). New cases are already dropping like a rock, and started doing so in January! (Actually, in some states, they started plummeting in *November*).

    The pandemic is probably already over. That doesn’t mean Covid is gone, but its not running rampant anymore.

    1. Yeah, seems like pretty much everywhere that didn’t have a significant epidemic last spring has had one this winter. Look at states like NY and it’s pretty clear they already have near herd immunity. The other states will be there soon.

      1. Yep. And if you look at NY by region, that becomes even more obvious.

        https://forward.ny.gov/daily-hospitalization-summary-region

  22. Just stopping by to say:

    Fuck you Sullum. Because I’m never clicking on an article with his name until he addressed Ashli Babbit’s murder.

    1. Dumb bitch was trespassing with a mob and got shot when she tried to break in through a window. What more do you need?

      1. Oh, maybe acknowledgement that you can’t lawfully use deadly force unless you reasonably believe it necessary to prevent the imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm. Even if you’re a cop.

  23. Herd immunity will never happen. Haven’t you heard about the (INSERT PLACE HERE) variant of the Kung Flu that’s (INSERT SCARY NUMBER HERE) times as contagious and deadly?? We can’t let our guard down even for a moment!

    Masken macht frei!!!

    1. I’d otherwise laugh, but it is this mindset with Fauci and the CDC that will cause “the experts” to move the goalposts so that we cannot end social distancing (the real threat to our way of life, not the stupid masks) until we have had zero new infections for 90 consecutive days, something that will not happen for years to come, if ever. Fauci’s been laying the groundwork for this for months with his concern over hypothetical new mutations. Remember, we’ve been vaccinating people for measles for 4+ decades and it is still with us.

      1. The masks are also a threat to our way of life. When people can’t fly or do normal things because they can’t tolerate impaired breathing for several hours, this is a destruction of our quality of life. But the fascists who are now in charge won’t listen to anyone except Frauci and the CDC, so the panic won’t be over until they say it’s over.

        1. The masks are dumb like TSA screening at airports is dumb – it’s security theatre that doesn’t actually do anything.

          Social distancing actually works. Which makes it at least defensible, but also more dangerous, as it works against stuff like the flu and the common cold as well – where do you stop? That’s a value judgement, not a medical question.

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  26. How Far Are We From COVID-19 Herd Immunity?

    About 50,000 confirmed cases, 4,500 hospitalizations, and 1,000 deaths per day is how far.

    Plus two weeks, because Aiiuugghh!!!

    You forgot the two weeks, Ron.

  27. Sadly we failed to develop rapid antibodies tests that could allow us to accurately diagnosis immunity to the infection. As a result, we are limit to calculating herd immunity by number vaccinated. Still we are well on the way and with a little patience we can get there quickly.

    1. Antibody tests would not tell much. Nobody knows the level of antibodies to protect or how long they are around which is likely variable.

      Herd immunity if it ever happens and I have my doubts is best measured by how many people become symptomatic.

      The reason to get the vaccine is to protect yourself and others from the disease. As it is large numbers of anti vaccine and the “it’s nothing” crowd are likely to keep it in circulation. Then there are mutations.

      What I think people mean by herd immunity is when can we go back to regular life. That is likely to happen in the near future but it is not the meaning of herd immunity.

      1. You do realize that B & T cells form the back bone of long term immunity, that antibodies are – for this type of virus – only for the short term.

        1. Yes so long term implications for this are not yet well understood. And there are subtypes of those cells. Antibodies fade away.

          This study found T memory cell response at about 6 months after infection. That is encouraging. Still long term population studies of actual disease prevalence will be the best indicator of where we are.

          https://science.sciencemag.org/content/371/6529/eabf4063

          “ The different types of immune memory each had distinct kinetics, resulting in complex interrelationships between the abundance of T cell, B cell, and antibody immune memory over time. Additionally, substantially heterogeneity in memory to SARS-CoV-2 was observed.”

          So there are a lot of questions in there.

          1. The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants highlighted the need to better understand adaptive immune responses to this virus. It is important to address whether also CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses are affected, because of the role they play in disease resolution and modulation of COVID-19 disease severity. Here we performed a comprehensive analysis of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses from COVID-19 convalescent subjects recognizing the ancestral strain, compared to variant lineages B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, and CAL.20C as well as recipients of the Moderna (mRNA-1273) or Pfizer/BioNTech (BNT162b2) COVID-19 vaccines. Similarly, we demonstrate that the sequences of the vast majority of SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes are not affected by the mutations found in the variants analyzed. Overall, the results demonstrate that CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses in convalescent COVID-19 subjects or COVID-19 mRNA vaccinees are not substantially affected by mutations found in the SARS-CoV-2 variants.

            https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.02.27.433180v1?fbclid=IwAR2wGK4OYD_y2R7wD-xIoFGoG2MfVZiTQQXftQyAux4X2nJZovYb6XCLdjI

            1. Etc…

              We have no reason to believe that SARS-CoV-2 will be different than any other coronavirus.

              1. Perhaps but Mother Nature is difficult to predict and immunology has many mysteries yet unknown.

                1. Ok? Maybe you should refrain from the “OMG the antibodies don’t last forever” panic porn?

                  1. I was referring to the usefulness of antibody tests that Moderation brought up and why it would not tell us much.

      2. Herd immunity if it ever happens

        Herd immunity will happen. See your own citations. The only alternative to herd immunity is extinction and a virus that almost exclusively kills people well above reproductive age can’t drive a species to extinction.

        1. Depends on how you define it. It is more a theory or concept than a number.

          I prefer clinical outcomes to modeling and projection.

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  29. It is worth noting that in Israel, where about half of the population has so far been inoculated, COVID-19 cases are plummeting.

    It’s also worth noting that cases in the US have been plummeting since early January too, well before we had large numbers or people vaccinated. Possible reasons:

    1) We finally started doing PCR tests with an appropriate Ct threshold, thus eliminating a big portion of the borderline/”false” positive tests.
    2) We actually already are at herd immunity levels in much of the country and have been for many weeks.

    1. >>Possible reasons

      (D)

  30. the best part is we have Ron to tell us when the goal line has been crossed.

  31. You have several missing facts here.
    1) The herd-immunity threshold is in fact smaller than you state: the 70% comes from the sort of over-simplified model one might expect of a sophomore statistics student. Among other things, it assumes that the population interacts in a purely-random manner. For example, it assumes that the interaction-probabilities among all the following are the same: 90-year-old in Maine, toddler in Arizona, two biology majors at the University of Michigan. This is clearly absurd. The “real science” is that population-interacting has heterogeneity, leading to the sort of model described at , as should be understood by any first-year epidemiology graduate student. Using the sophomore-level model is not acceptable.
    2) The existing-immunity assumptions are a serious understatement, since they only consider antibody based immunity and not T-cell based immunity. Worldwide studies of pre-CoVID 2018-vintage blood showed T-cell CoVID reactivity rates ranging from 18% to 50%; moreover, other studies of recovered CoVID cases show about 40% with T-cell reactivity without accompanying antibody-reactivity. So your estimates of the currently-immune population are under-stated.

    1. the 70% comes from the sort of over-simplified model one might expect of a sophomore statistics student

      It’s a highly simplified state-function being applied to a wicked problem that even complex differential equations and AI models fail to predict, the spherical cow problem.

      It assumes that the 90-yr.-old is as susceptible as the toddler and the biology majors. It assumes that the toddler, 90-yr.-old, and biology majos can’t learn from their environment. It assumes that the toddler and the biology majors don’t learn from their behavior and change their behavior when one of them dies.

      Again, the model or concept was developed around relatively small, highly localized, and relatively homogeneous *herds*. The extrapolation to entire species, especially a species capable of widespread communication and behavioral modification should cause the notion to be discarded in all scenarios except those where the virus spreads and kills at a rate that approaches the ability to understand it and communicate about it in any preventable way. Otherwise, we aren’t talking about saving the herd, we’re talking about saving every last member of the herd even if it means sacrificing the herd as an organization, which isn’t herd immunity.

  32. Recent study from Denmark.

    “Through analysis of Danish population-level surveillance data with more than 10 million person-identifiable PCR test results in 2020, we estimated protective immunity to be approximately 80–83% in people younger than 65 years. We found no difference in immunity over the study period. Among those aged 65 years and older, immunity was estimated to be approximately 47%.
    Implications of all the available evidence
    Natural infection with SARS-CoV-2 led to observed protection against reinfection estimated to be approximately 80% after 6 months. However, the observed low natural immunity in people aged 65 years and older underlines the need to vaccinate previously infected individuals, in particular in this age group.”

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00575-4/fulltext

    1. This cannot be correct “Natural infection with SARS-CoV-2 led to observed protection against reinfection estimated to be approximately 80% after 6 months.” else the reinfection numbers would not be as vanishingly small as they are.

      1. I suppose it depends on what you are measuring. Clinical cases or PCR positive.

        Most of what I have seen talk about moderate to severe disease. Those are very low.

        1. Oh yea, I’m sure we have millions of asymptomatic reinfection victims. Pick a number, any number.

          1. Interesting discussion Chipper.

            If you could throw in a link to something every now and then I might get an opportunity to learn more that day.

      2. I didn’t read it all the way through but it looks like the Danes did massive testing. Because of low prevalence it is going skew the numbers. That could account for the difference.

  33. The pandemic will end when the establishment finds a new excuse to keep us under lock and key and thinks it can shore up its political power by declaring victory in the current crisis. To think otherwise is naive.

  34. This pandemic hasn’t even gotten its feet wet yet. Wait until the vaccines start killing. screwed.

  35. I’m very happy with my individual immunity. It’s worked quite well for me over many seasons of no-flu-shot + no-flu. No reason to mess with a system that works.

    1. Same here. I have ZERO reason to take it.

      They know it too. That’s why they pull all this ‘it’s ethical’ to take the vaccine or, of course, the asymptomatic line.

      I have had the flu – knock on wood – maybe three times in my life (and I’m mid-life pushing 50). Never took a shot. My doctor – and I’m going to reduce exposure to these quacks now because I’ve not been impressed by how much common sense this pant shitters lack. I know I’m generalizing but public health officials can straight up go fuck themselves. Same with the epidemiologists and any other piece of shit who peddled masks and doom.

  36. It would be nice to see what herd-immunity we would need with masking (in places where that doesn’t become problematic, like restaurants) and distancing still observed. There are lots of things which reduce the R0 value of Covid from its “raw” value (immunity, masking, distancing, restrictions on crowds, etc), and it’s all about getting the effective R0 below 1. As the number of immunizations increases, we can probably relax some of the restrictions (starting with the most economically harmful ones, like indoor dining) while keeping some of the more-benign ones (like masking) and still see the cases counts drop even before we reach those 70% numbers that experts are targeting.

    1. The masking is not benign because it comes in tandem with social distancing, and it is the social distancing protocols that will destroy many things that make life worth living like live events (sports, concerts, etc.) and large gatherings (weddings, amusement parks, bars, restaurants, fairs, festivals, etc.). You cannot discuss the stupid masks without also acknowledging the threat social distancing poses to our way of life.

      1. Yay! We have vaccines!

        But it won’t be much of a life. Just the way the cucks and wokesters and people who voted for old man dementia Biden (the ones who actually did. Since it was rigged) like it.

        Osterholm and Fauci will see to it.

    2. For the love of God and for the 203040506069th time.
      MASKS DO SHIT. Maybe something but that marginal benefit ONLY comes if you social distance. On their own THEY’RE USELESS KABUKI THEATRE.

      But hey. We’ve psychologically traumatized enough people so that they engage in false-virtue and scream at others for putting their sorry ass life in danger as we appallingly mask children.

      Learned to truly loathe people in the past 12 months. Scared, little hypocritical psychos who would have turned in Anne Frank and the Kulaks.

    3. What will be highly amusing to me is when all of the vaxxers – who couldn’t wait to line up as test dummies – start dropping dead in even greater numbers than they are now. Sadly I will have friends among those corpses, but as the old saying goes, you can’t fix stupid.

  37. About 2 months ago, CDC said the official number may be off by a factor of 8. So 8X30million= 240 Million, (73%) and now some 40 million (some of whom may have been infected already) but at the rate of innoculation, soon it will be 40 million WITHOUT having ever been infected. Seems we are about there now, even if you jack the necessary herd immunity rate to 80 %. IN FACT, WE WILL soon have over 85% immunity, based on the above.

    AND as evidence that this is correct, cases, hospitalizations and deaths are dropping like a rock. We are there. Enough of the foolishness, open up the economy and our lives, before MORE people die of the POLICIES than of the disease.

    1. Note also that we will NEVER AGAIN have a zero rate of infections or deaths. Just like the flu, which mysteriously disappeared this year. OR did flu deaths get counted as C19?????

  38. 9.1% of Americans have tested positive for covid, and CDC estimates 4.6 times more Americans have been infected (than have tested positive). Thus, CDC estimates 42.2% of Americans already have been infected.

    Since there are just 11 known cases of covid reinfection in America (and 65 worldwide), virtually all previously infected Americans remain immune. Therefore, previous covid infections have already conferred immunity to an estimated 42.2% of Americans.

    Since 22.2% of Americans have received a 1st covid vaccine dose, since 42.2% of Americans were already immune (due to past infection), and since the 1st vaccine dose appears 90% effective, 1st doses of vaccine have conferred immunity to about 11.5% of Americans (.222 x .578 x .9 = .115).

    And since 12.0% of Americans have received a 2nd covid vaccine dose, since 42.2% of them were already immune (due to past infection), and since 2nd vaccine doses only confer immunity to about 10% of 2nd dose recipients (who didn’t become immune from the 1st dose), 2nd doses of vaccine have conferred immunity to just 0.7% of Americans (.12 x .578 x .1 = .0069)

    In sum, based on CNC data and infection rate estimate, 54.6% of Americans are now immune from covid, herd immunity is occurring in most states, and should occur nationwide within the next month or so.

    1. The equation for determining 54.6% of Americans are now immune from covid is (42.2% + 11.5% + 0.7% = 54.6%)

      1. Rand Paul just gave Tony Fauci a long deserved and humiliating public health lesson in viral immunology, pointing out that virtually all covid infections and vaccines have conferred immunity with an extremely low risk of reinfection.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3I5uqaMzd0

        Fauci refused to answer Rand Paul’s question asking him to cite any study that has found a covid reinfection rate above 1%.
        Fauci didn’t answer the Paul’s question because Fauci knows the risk of reinfection is very very low (for previously infected people as well as vaccine recipients).

        1. Fox News interviews Rand Paul about covid immunity
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkShz1zF2qk

  39. Covid is a very big problem for the whole world.

    1. No it isn’t.
      We made it that way.

  40. What’s laughable is how far behind the curve the CDC is on this. According to them we will not vaccinate 50% of the population until July 31.

  41. The politicians, and to slightly lesser degree the public health officials, have gotten it wrong from the start and are doubling down on stupid. Florida proves unequivocally that lockdowns do not stop the spread and have massive detrimental affects of their own. California’s answer? Tighten the lockdown. Peer reviewed medical research indicates masks are of little or no use in halting the virus. Blue state response? Wear two! (Two times zero is still zero.) Where I live, we have continued our social lives. We only wear masks when stores require them (it’s their property) but the come off immediately when we exit. No one got sick. And we’re all old. We refused to be scared of our own shadows.

    1. I’m jealous. Here in Quebec, Quebecers have proved themselves to be good, scared little sheep. No mask is big enough. And it continues with the most restrictive measures on the continent. It’s sad, embarrassing, anti-scientific, ignorant, illegal and plain old incoherent.

  42. The following math doesn’t quite work: “Let’s just do a very rough and optimistic calculation by assuming significant immunity among the 74 million Americans who have already gotten at least one dose of vaccine, plus the infection number of 90 million. That adds up to 164 million people who currently have antibodies against the virus, which is about 70 percent of the way toward the goal of 230 million people.”

    That would be only be true if we were sure there was no overlap in the set of vaccinated and the set that has had COVID, but that is unlikely to be true for many reasons, including the fact that the estimate of the infected includes those who were never tested and thus are likely to be among those that get vaccinated.

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