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Vaccine hesitage can lead to thousands of deaths

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The new model reveals that about 5,000 Victorians could die from Covid-19 in just 12 months if the virus was “left alone” without public health measures.

According to experts, this study, developed by Burnet’s Lab, emphasizes the need to maintain public health measures as a primary line of defense against coronavirus, even at high vaccination rates.

Mathematical modeling of COVASIM also suggested that Australia is unlikely to achieve herd immunity at current levels of vaccine resistance and the high infectivity of new mutants.

Nick Scott, head of modeling at Burnet’s Lab, said public health measures such as blockades, social distances, wearing masks, and the use of QR codes need to be continued to prevent death.

“Without herd immunity, stopping the public health approach and spreading the virus is likely to infect most of the community,” Dr. Scott said.

“Vaccinated people are protected and may have mild or no symptoms.

“But among unvaccinated people, perhaps up to 30% of the community, there can be numerous hospitalizations and deaths, and many cases of” new coronavirus infections. ” “

Modeling showed a scenario that predicts coronavirus infection, hospitalization, and death one year after a new infection enters the community, even if there is a vaccinated population.

In one scenario created by Dr. Scott and his team, the vaccine was assumed to have an infection-preventing effect of 50% and a mortality-preventing effect of 93% for infected people.

This is 1.5 times more infectious than the virus that broke out in Victoria between June and November 2020, with 80% of people over the age of 60 and 70% of people under the age of 60 finally vaccinated. received.

“If the virus invades the community when vaccination rates reach 60% and is left unchecked, 4885 deaths within a year in Victoria without public health measures in place. It turns out that there is a possibility of people coming out, “says Dr. Scott.

“If the peak vaccination rate reaches 95%, the number of deaths will decrease to 1,346.”

Modeling showed that if the vaccine was 75% effective against infection, the death toll after one year could be less than 1000 with the same parameters as in the scenario described.

However, if the virus is highly infectious, deaths will remain at very high levels, even if the vaccine is very effective, the researchers said.

Margaret Herard, Deputy Director of the Burnett Institute and an infectious disease and public health expert, said modeling was a “worst case” scenario, with no government intervention, even at medium to high levels. He said he showed what would happen if he “runs the virus.” Vaccine coverage.

She has shown that 30% of Australians do not want to be vaccinated and that if the government wants to prevent the deaths of thousands of people from the new coronavirus, public health measures must be maintained. It was.

“To reduce infections and severe infections, we need to significantly increase vaccination coverage,” said Professor Hellard.

“Vaccination does not stop all epidemics, but it reduces the likelihood of an epidemic, reduces the need for quarantine and restrictions, and saves lives.”

COVASIM is a model developed by the Burnet’s Lab and Disease Modeling Institute in the United States that provides more specific and accurate data to inform governments of Covid-19 compliance.

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