NYT: Why Vaccines Alone Will Not End the Pandemic

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According to a new study at Columbia University, vaccines are not enough to stop the spread of the coronavirus completely. If social distancing measures are not maintained until July, the case total could be much higher, epidemiologist Dr. Jeffrey Shaman warns. His models predict 29 million more cases if restrictions are lifted in February and 6 million more cases if restrictions are lifted in mid-March, compared to if current restrictions are kept in place until July. In some places in the country, the vaccine does not have much potential for impact because the virus has already infected a majority of the population. For example, in North Dakota, the study approximates that 6 in 10 people have been infected. However, in places where a smaller number of people have been infected, like Vermont, the vaccine can greatly reduce the total number of cases. Though the study has not been formally reviewed yet, Dr. Shaman’s peer scientists are fairly confident about the findings. Read the Jan. 24, 2021 article by Matthew Conlen, Denise Lu and James Glanz here.

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