Vaccine hesitation could lead to thousands of deaths if virus ‘keep going’

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The grim reality of vaccine mistrust has been exposed in new research that warns of mass deaths if the virus « keeps going. »

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Victorian health professor Ben Cowie has fueled the efficacy of both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines, as he warns that vaccination is the only way out for Victoria.

Victorian health professor Ben Cowie has fueled the effectiveness of both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines as he warns that vaccination is Victoria’s only way out of the health crisis. « These vaccines are game changers, » he told the media. “Both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines are highly effective in preventing serious illness, preventing hospitalization and preventing death. « The real world data coming out of Europe shows us that this is our way out of this situation and that they will protect our health system and protect the lives of Victorians as we do that. » Examining the number of Victorians who needed to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, Professor Cowie said the concept was « a complicated one. » « This doesn’t just relate to the amount of vaccines we provide, it comes back to how the different emerging variants of coronavirus care interact with vaccine-based immunity, » he said. « So I can’t give you a number and I think anyone who has would question the realms of our understanding at this point. »

According to research, almost 5,000 people could die from Covid without public health measures. Image: NCA NewsWire / Ian CurrieSource: News Corp Australia

Nearly 5,000 Victorians could die from Covid-19 in just 12 months if the virus is « released » without a public health response, new modeling has revealed.

Experts say the research, developed by the Burnet Institute, has highlighted the need to maintain public health measures as an important line of defense against coronavirus, even with high vaccination rates.

COVASIM’s mathematical modeling also suggested that Australia was unlikely to achieve herd immunity with the current hesitation about vaccines and the higher infectivity of new variants.

Nick Scott, Burnet Institute’s head of modeling, said public health measures such as lockdowns, social distancing, wearing masks and using QR codes should continue to prevent deaths.

« Without herd immunity, if we stopped taking a public health approach and allowed the virus to spread, it’s likely to infect much of the community, » said Dr. Scott.

“Those who have been vaccinated are protected and may experience only mild or no symptoms.

Health experts are urging people to get vaccinated.  Image: NCA NewsWire / Luis Ascui

Health experts are urging people to get vaccinated. Image: NCA NewsWire / Luis AscuiSource: News Corp Australia

« But among those who have not been vaccinated — possibly up to 30 percent of the community — we could see a high number of hospitalizations and deaths, as well as many cases of ‘prolonged Covid’. »

The modeling presented scenarios for projecting coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths one year after new infections enter the community, even with a vaccinated population.

One by Dr. Scott and his team developed the scenario that assumed a vaccine effectiveness of 50 percent in preventing infections and 93 percent efficacy in preventing deaths in people who had become infected.

That would make it a virus 1.5 times more contagious than the one in Victoria between June and November 2020, where 80 percent of people over 60 and 70 percent of people under 60 were eventually vaccinated.

Elderly and disabled care are lining up for their vaccine at the Melbourne Showgrounds.  Image: NCA NewsWire / Ian Currie

Elderly and disabled care are lining up for their vaccine at the Melbourne Showgrounds. Image: NCA NewsWire / Ian CurrieSource: News Corp Australia

« We found that if the virus enters the community when 60 percent vaccine coverage is achieved and is not monitored, we could see 4,885 deaths in Victoria within a year if public health measures are not introduced, » said Dr. Scott.

« If we get peak vaccination coverage to 95 percent, the death rate drops to 1,346. »

The modeling showed that if the vaccine’s efficacy against infection was 75 percent, with the same parameters in the described scenario, the number of deaths after one year could be less than 1000.

But if the virus were more contagious, deaths would remain at very high levels, even if the vaccine were highly effective, the researchers said.

According to the Director General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the global COVID-19 vaccine disparity has caused a two-track pandemic. He says while Western…

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According to the Director General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the global COVID-19 vaccine disparity has caused a two-track pandemic. He says that while western countries are protected with vaccines, poorer countries are still exposed. The WHO is calling on leaders to commit to sharing doses by June and July, as G7 leaders prepare to meet this week.

Burnet Institute deputy director and leading infectious diseases and public health specialist Margaret Hellard said the modeling was a « worst-case » scenario and showed what could happen if governments did not intervene and « let the virus run wild » even with moderate to high vaccine coverage.

She said 30 percent of Australians say they don’t want to be vaccinated, that public health measures must remain in place if governments are to prevent thousands of Covid-19 deaths.

« We need a much higher vaccination rate to reduce infections and severe infections, » said Professor Hellard.

« While vaccinations may not stop every outbreak, they will reduce the likelihood of outbreaks, reduce the need for quarantine and restrictions, and save lives. »

The COVASIM is a model developed by Burnet Institute and Institute for Disease Modeling in the US and provides governments with more specific and accurate data to inform their Covid-19 responses.

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