• Glenn Wilson
    Updated in comments.

    This post is inspired by the quote: "... the idea that if you vaccinate the 20% of the country that represent 95% of the deaths, you can avoid deaths from COVID." -- Elad Gil.

    What does this look like for Mexico?

    Elad's post Why Has Israel Succeeded At COVID Vaccination? is interesting and raises a number of important points. Israel is doing a fantastic job of rolling out vaccinations quickly and there are some valuable lessons from their experience.

    My goal is not to compare Mexico to Israel, but rather, to explore that one narrow point. When will Mexico have vaccinated 95% of those at risk from death from Covid to eliminate most of the risk of Covid deaths?

    This is a very simple analysis with a very simple point. There are numerous limitations and simplifying assumptions in this analysis. This is not meant to be definitive or comprehensive.

    Mexico will have vaccinated those representing 95% of the at risk population for Covid death when it has vaccinated its population that is 50 and over. This corresponds to the completion of Stage 3, scheduled for May 2021. 74% of the at risk population is scheduled to be vaccinated by the end of stage 2, scheduled for April 2021.

    From the attached National Vaccination Policy document.

    When Mexico gets to this point in the vaccination plan, the number of Covid deaths should be starting to become a small fraction of what they are now.

    I am not suggesting that Mexico will stick to this schedule. I am not suggesting that people under 50 dying from Covid is unimportant. I am not suggesting that other endpoints, like disabilities and "long covid" are unimportant. I am not suggesting that vaccinating these groups will be 100% effective at preventing their deaths from Covid or that 100% of these populations will receive the vaccine. I am not suggesting that the deaths will decrease immediately upon giving vaccinations -- there are lag times for the vaccine to be fully effective, and for people to contract and die from Covid. This analysis does not directly consider comorbidities and only uses the US CDC data for Infection Fatality Ratios by age range.


    The detais of the calculations and links to additional sources (including the CDC Covid Infection Fatality Ratios and Mexico population data) are in the google spreadsheet SMA-CV-Stats on the tab CDC IFR and Mexico Population.

    More in the category Health and Medical.

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    PolVx_COVID (621K)
  • Glenn Wilson
    What about herd immunity via vaccination? Estimates for the number of people that need to be immune to reach herd immunity vary quite a bit but 70% has been a frequently used number for coronavirus. Mexico may optimistically approach 70% vaccination levels at the end of its current vaccination plan (scheduled to be March 2022) if everyone eligible gets vaccinated. And, that is assuming that getting vaccinated provides everyone immunity. Only 70% vaccination levels because about 30% of the population is under 18 and not part of the current vaccination plan.

    Clearly Mexico will not reach herd immunity anytime in 2021. This does not appear to be unique to Mexico. Until there is a vaccine that can be applied to minors there will be a significant gap in protection via vaccination.

    But, what happens after getting the most vulnerable to death from Covid vaccinated? As discussed above, those 70 and older represent 74% of the potential Covid deaths and those 50 and older represent 97% of the potential Covid deaths based on the Mexico population distribution and the CDC Covid IFRs. If this is anywhere near accurate, then deaths in Mexico (and elsewhere) will drop dramatically after applying vaccinations to these most vulnerable groups. It may take a couple of months for the decrease in deaths to start showing up in the official statistics after completing the vaccine regimen (one or two shots depending on which vaccine is used). Coronavirus mutations might interfere with this hoped for reduction in deaths.

    But, this is something the world will be keeping an eye on as vaccines roll out. If we start to see significant drops in deaths, when and how will that impact public policy?
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