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File: 1586771852446.png (145.35 KB, 1326x1119, 442:373, 20200415-graph-Italy.png) ImgOps Google

Italy is showing a continued decline in the rate of deaths from COVID-19, presumably that also means a decline in viral activity.

Some predict the pandemic will meet decline at herd immunity.  With a basic reproduction number (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_reproduction_number) of 3 -- I see numbers between three and four -- that would mean at more than 66% immune, viral activity begins to decrease because there becomes a better and better chance that the average of three who have contact with an infected person are immune.  Italy is seeing decline far below this level, enough that I want to say herd immunity isn't the factor, it is more changing behavior.

Herd immunity pretty much has to work to send a virus into decline, if it comes to that.  The question on my mind is whether pandemics typically come to that.  The Spanish flu is said to have infected 1/4, which would mean viral activity was probably in decline at 1/8 or so of the population (if for simplicity, I assume a symmetric curve), so a reproduction number of 1.14 -- pretty low.  Or sustained changes in behavior brought the basic reproduction number down before herd immunity had any significant input.

My question is, given lockdowns and isolations are hard to sustain, especially as the virus declines in a country or state and these measure seem less necessary, and a vaccine only possible later in 2021, is herd immunity still a reasonable prediction for the final end of COVID-19?


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>a vaccine only possible later in 2021
We could get mass vaccination sooner if the FDA realizes that we're in the middle of a pandemic and updates its ethical guidelines for clinical trials accordingly.  In fact, we might actually already have a vaccine that could be mass-produced in a few months.  But Phase-3 trials being held back by government red tape.


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The prediction of when a vaccine comes out comes from various articles that say 18 months is the best we can hope for, the worse being never.  It's been a month or two, so perhaps 16 months, now.  Personally, I know about nothing about how vaccines are made.  I do know there's a fairly widespread fear of vaccine side-effects, a vaccine must be trusted enough that >67% of people will take it, and of course, it must actually provide immunity.

The FDA is retarding the process, I take it.  Are other countries less held back, and can America get vaccine from elsewhere if they have an effective one?


ya know?
It will be finding a balance to popping out a vaccine asap without relying on a dud or worse


I'd like a citation on this if you don't mind. Specifically on the phase 3 trials being held back for ethical reasons.

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