Since it started last summer the Monitor’s weekly COVID tracker has sometimes had to present depressing data. Here’s the latest: At our current rate of vaccination, New Hampshire won’t get close to “herd immunity” until November of 2022.
That’s right: Not 2021, but 2022.
The arithmetic is pretty straightforward. We’re getting 18,000 doses of vaccine a week at the moment. Even when I round it up to 20,000 doses for easier calculation, giving two shots to 70% of New Hampshire’s 1.35 million people will take 95 weeks, or a year and 10 months.
Getting our vaccination rate to 90%, which is true herd immunity, would push us into 2023 – although since I haven’t included people who are immune because they got sick, or the fact that children aren’t immunized, that’s a little excessive.
I’m certain it will go faster than that, especially now that President Biden says he’s going to push to get 100 million vaccinations done in 100 days. If it gets distributed by population, New Hampshire would receive about 300,000 doses.
That would be wonderful, but even if those doses show up and we have the staffing to administer them quickly, New Hampshire would be less than halfway to a minimum level of safety by the start of summer.
I emphasize these gloomy numbers as a reminder that even though we’re finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, it remains a very long and dark tunnel, especially since we don’t know much about the more easily transmitted strains of the SARS-CoV2 virus which have been showing up.
In other words, things aren’t going to be “normal” this spring or even this summer, although I think they’ll be much less abnormal by then. If we accept this fact now, we can appreciate the small improvements as they come.
And improvement will come! Just not as soon as we’d like.
You can keep track of the virus’ progression in New Hampshire and status of our vaccination program on the Monitor’s COVID-19 page at concordmonitor.com/Special-Sections/Covid-19.