Archive for January 15th, 2021

VAX: By the numbers…

January 15, 2021

I’m trying to get my brain around all the numbers that are being bandied around re: COVID vaccine supply & demand…

My conclusion: Within 2 months we’ll have all the vaccine needed to inoculate  enough people to reach herd immunity.

That’s the supply side of the equation … “distribution” and “demand creation” are another story” … that I’ll explore in some subsequent posts.

Warning: This post may be painful for readers who self- proclaim to be numerically-challenged.

They may want to stop reading right now.

For my fellow quant geeks, please keep reading and let me know if you spot any errors in my logic or numbers


Let’s start with a population breakdown…

There are approximately 250 million people older than 18 … for whom the COVID vaccines are approved.


Dr. Fauci, our Chief Political Scientist, now says that it’ll take 70% to 80% to reach herd immunity.  We’ll use 75%.

That means that the “gross” immunization population is about 185 million people.

There have been about 25 million confirmed COVID cases.

“The science” tells us that those folks are immune post-infection recovery.

So, the net target immunization population drops to about 160 million (provided that those confirmed cases are real and that those people have, in fact, developed immunity).

But, since both of the currently approved vaccines requires 2 doses, the U.S. needs 320 million doses of vaccine to fully vaccinate the net target immunization population

The Feds have distributed  about 30 million doses to the states … and have reportedly held back an equal number in inventory for 2nd doses.

Note: Of the 30 million doses distributed to the states, about 10 million doses have been administered to 9 million patients (with 1 million of the 9 million getting 2 doses each).

Said differently, the Feds have received 60 million doses of vaccine to be distributed and inoculated.

That leaves an aggregate supply shortfall of 260 million doses.

In the past 7 days, the Feds have received about 4 million doses per day.

At that rate, it will take about 2 months for the Feds to receive and distribute enough doses to vaccinate the 240 million US adults over 18 who have not already been naturally immunized by getting COVID-infected.


Do I have it right?

Let me know if you spot any errors in my logic or my numbers.

Detailed recap chart below …


Jan. 15: COVID Data Dashboard

January 15, 2021

Vaccinations: U.S. Total
Doses Distributed    30.6 MM
Doses Inoculated    11.1 MM
% Pop Vaxed          3.37 %
Current Day Shots    871 K
7-day average          682 K

Source: CDC   Updated: 1/14/2021

397,719 Deaths-to-Date

3,993 Daily New Deaths  (peak 4,100 Jan. 12)
> 7-day average 3,446      (peak 3,446 Jan. 14)


Confirmed Cases
229,210 New Cases
> 7-day average  230,509

Currently Hospitalized
 Current level
> 7-day average 130,828