An epidemiologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham predicts that the country and Alabama may be immunized against COVID-19 as early as May or June.
Suzanne Judd, an epidemiologist at UAB, said: “Thanks to the vaccine, we are getting closer to the immunity of the cattle herd, and new scientific data shows that more people suffer from COVID than those who are tested.”
Judd said her calculations are based on the current rate of COVID-1
When the virus cannot spread in an uncontrolled population, herd immunity will occur, because enough members of the population have some immunity, whether it is from a vaccine or from an antibody (if you have the disease and have Rehabilitation) are immune.
Scientists already know how many people have been vaccinated against COVID and how many have tested positive for the disease. However, a large number of unknown people have been infected with this virus and have never been tested.
If this number is large enough, the spread of the disease may drop sharply in the coming months.
“The current estimate is that we will see [herd immunity] Judd said: “Later in the spring, sometime in early summer in Alabama.” “It may be between May and June, but it depends on many factors.”
Judd said that the latest research from Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University and UAB shows that there may be more people with this disease than we thought. She said that in New York City, a study showed that the proportion of people who currently test positive for the virus has antibodies close to 10:1.
Judd said this is not surprising, because at the beginning of the pandemic, New York was hit hard by the virus and it was difficult to test for COVID. She said that at UAB, the ratio is close to 5 to 1. Her prediction is trying to be conservative rather than overestimating. It assumes that for every positive test reported in Alabama, three people actually have COVID.
Judd said: “The more people who are immune, the less the virus spreads, the safer it is for us to communicate with each other again.”
It is estimated how many people need to be immunized to truly destroy the spread of the virus, but Judd said that her calculation is based on the threshold of 72% of the population to obtain immunity.
Judd said: “There is no magic number that can make a herd immune.” “Every virus, every bacteria is different. They mutate at regular intervals, so this number can move.” But for now Scientists are vaccinating about 72% of the population, so hope we will see this soon. “
Judd said that for Alabama, this means that 3.5 million people need to be vaccinated or infected. Current statistics show that 12.5% of the population of Alabama received at least one dose of COVID vaccine, and another 10% tested positive for the virus.
As of Friday, Alabama has reported 491,849 positive tests. Assuming a ratio of 3:1, it means that nearly 1.5 million Alabamas have already suffered from COVID. If it turns out that the 5-to-1 ratio is correct, it would mean that more than 2.4 million people have been infected, which brings the state closer to the threshold of herd immunity.
Alabama health officer, Dr. Scott Harris, said he was familiar with Judd’s work and said she did a “excellent” job predicting Alabama’s cattle immunity.
“Doctor Judd is an excellent researcher, so I think her research results are very interesting and reasonable.” Harris said on Thursday.
Harris said that despite this, there are still many unknowns about the immunity of the herd, including how many Alabamas may have received COVID but have never been tested.
Harris said: “About 10% of the states we know have tested positive and have been infected.” “But what is certain is that the percentage of antibodies is much higher.”
She said mutations may also be the key to deciding whether to maintain the immunity of the herd or whether a booster vaccine is needed.
She said: “It actually depends on how the virus mutates.” The immune response that the human body has produced will completely cover certain mutations. There are other mutations that may evade the immune system and require boosting vaccination or actually cause re-infection.
“So we have to observe these variants very carefully.”
Judd said that Alabamas should not relax their vigilance, nor should they start leaving masks at home.
Judd said: “We will not know that we are in herd immunity, no magic, suddenly we reached 72%, we are safe.” “What we want to monitor is the number of cases per week, we will continue to be very careful Observation. And as long as the trend drops and stays below 10 or 5 [cases] Every one in 100,000, and we have a good test in the state, then we will know that it is safe to get people together. “