High Vaccination Rates Are Key in Controlling the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 4, 2021
Killian Meara

Killian Meara, assistant editor for ContagionLive, joined the MJH Life Sciences team in November 2020. He graduated from William Paterson University with a degree in liberal studies, and concentrations in history and psychology. He enjoys film, reading, and pretending he is a good cook. Follow him on Twitter @krmeara or email him at [email protected]

With a 75% vaccination rate, cases, hospitalizations and ICU administrations will plummet.

A recent study conducted by investigators and data scientists from the Mayo Clinic have demonstrated that high rates of vaccination are extremely important to reduce the number of cases and controlling the overall COVID-19 pandemic.

Results from the study were published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

"It is difficult to untangle how much of this elevated rate of spread right now is due to new variants as opposed to changes in social behavior," the authors wrote. “Regardless of the reason, the absence of vaccinations in the current environment would have been likely to result in by far the largest surge to date."

For the study, the team of investigators developed a computer model that can forecast the impact that COVID-19 has on hospital usage. The predictive model was initially created to develop models of where and when COVID-19 hot spots would occur.

However, the investigators have now successfully employed the predictive model to accurately predict the timing and magnitude of COVID-19 cases and hospitalization surges. This information can aid hospital staff in preparing for any increase in patients.

Findings from the study showed that in Minnesota, if the state had achieved a vaccination rate of 75% by early April, cases, patients hospitalized and patients in the ICU with the virus would drop significantly by early July.

Additional findings demonstrated that if no vaccine was given in the state, over 800 patients would be in the ICU in the spring, more than double the current number.

“Comparing the range of predictions between scenarios offers compelling evidence for what many have assumed to be true. Namely, without vaccinations a large surge would be imminent,” the author wrote. “Conversely, vaccinations will suppress an otherwise inevitable surge of cases, but only if enough individuals take advantage of what modern science has provided.”