125,000 lives could be saved in the US if 50% start COVID vaccination by March 1

A new report combining predictive and expert forecasting data predicts that 125,000 lives could be saved by the end of 2021 if 50% or more of the U.S. population begins COVID vaccination by March 1, 2021.

‘Meta- and consensus forecast of COVID-19 targets, ”developed by Thomas McAndrew, a computational scientist and faculty member Lehigh University‘s College of Health, and colleagues, contain data from experts and trained predictors, combining their predictions into a single consensus forecast. In addition, McAndrew and his team provide a metaphorecast, which is a combination of an ensemble of computational models and their consensus prediction.

In addition to predictions related to the impact of vaccinations, the report includes prediction analyzes on a variety of U.S. COVID-related issues, including the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, and the prevalence of the B.1.1.7 variant, which is the first times in the UK, but is likely to spread rapidly in the US

From the report:

  • 125,000 fewer deaths are predicted by the end of 2021 if more than or equal to 50% of the U.S. population begins vaccination by March 1, 2021: McAndrew finds that if more than or equal to 50% of the U.S. population starts vaccination by March 1, 2021, the consensus median forecast of the cumulative number of deaths by December 31, 2021 is 520,000. In contrast, if less than 50% of the U.S. population begins vaccination, the consensus forecast is 645,000. A consensus of subject matter experts and trained predictors predicts 125,000 (difference between two medians above) fewer deaths due to COVID-19 if at least 50% of the population were vaccinated by March 1, 2021, emphasizing the importance of increasing the vaccination rate. across the usa
  • Predicted increase in hospitalizations, cases and deaths: The team finds that a consensus of experts and trained predictors predicts that an increase in the number of admissions to children and adults in the hospital (median = 132,500) an increase in the number of newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 (median = 1,700,000), and an increase in the number of new deaths due to COVID-19 (median = 22,400).
  • Predicted increase in B.1.1.7 incidence: The report shows that a consensus of subject matter experts and trained predictors predicts that 87% of U.S. samples sent for genomic sequencing in the first two weeks of February have an S-gene failure (present in all B.1.1 .7 samples) will be. identified as the B.1.1.7 variant. Currently, according to McAndrew, approximately 22% of the samples are identified as the B.1.1.7 variant.

McAndrew’s approach to forecasting differs from the traditional approach, he says. Instead of building a computational model to predict cases, deaths, and hospitalizations due to COVID, he asks experts and trained forecasters to predict these targets and combines their forecasts into a single consensus forecast.

Furthermore, he delivers a metaphorecast: a combination of an ensemble of computational models and the consensus prediction.

“The idea is to combine computer models with human judgment to make more accurate predictions about the U.S. outbreak,” McAndrew said.

Reference: “Meta- and consensus forecast of COVID-19 targets” by Thomas McAndrew, Juan Cambeiro, David Braun, Tamay Besiroglu, Damon Luk and Allison Codi, 27 January 2020.
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