COVID Odyssey: Spring Spruce up 2 ~ NZ COVID-19 Delta Poll results~ How may vaccination rates affect a worst-case scenario?

A suitable meaning

Let us not talk at cross-purpose
Let us stop this COVID circus
We are able
Let us table
Suitable means fit for purpose

Alan Grace
18 September 2021

The poll

This post provides the results of a poll on a New Zealand social media App (Neighbourly). To view the poll, see:

https://www.neighbourly.co.nz/public/auckland/titirangi/message/67008287

COVIDpoll

The 33 respondents were from Titirangi,  a suburb in Auckland, and from 13 neighbouring suburbs. The poll was displayed on the App noticeboard  with all 23,167 “neighbours” able to vote if they wished.

The poll is not a scientific or an academic poll. It was worded simply and hopefully in an understandable manner as below:

New Zealand currently has about 34% (about 1/3) of its population over 12 fully vaccinated. For Norway the percentage is 67 % (about 2/3).
When New Zealand reaches 67% fully vaccinated, which of the following estimates do you think provides the most suitable worst-case scenario for New Zealand over the next 12 months?

a) 1,300,000 cases and 7,000 deaths (Professor Hendy estimate).
b) 500,000 cases and 2,100 deaths.
c) 185,000 cases and 2,100 deaths.
d) 185,000 cases and 850 deaths.
e) 12,000 cases and 80 deaths.
f) 4,100 cases and 30 deaths.

Also see:

COVID Odyssey: Winter Warning NZ 18 ~ Delta variant: NZ vs Norway~ How may % vaccination affect case numbers?

Norway

COVIDpollDescr

COVIDpoll

The responses from the 33 respondents were:

Votes33

The intermediate results from the first 10, 20, and 30 votes are at the bottom of this post.

We will now analyse the question and the various options/choices.

The opinions are my own regarding ranking and will clearly be open to debate.

The question

New Zealand currently has about 34% (about 1/3) of its population over 12 fully vaccinated. For Norway the percentage is 67 % (about 2/3).
When New Zealand reaches 67% fully vaccinated, which of the following estimates do you think provides the most suitable worst-case scenario for New Zealand over the next 12 months?

The question applies to the 12 month period following after 67 % of the New Zealand population (over 12) is fully vaccinated. This is about double the current vaccination level.

The 67% level is unlikely to be high enough to change New Zealand’s policies in a major way re opening the borders etc. One person wanted clarification on a number of variables. My response was to consider New Zealand’s policies prior to new Zealand going to Lockdown Level 4 which occurred at 11.59 pm on the day the first case was identified in Auckland.

Doubling the vaccination level is very likely to have a dramatic effect (a considerable reduction) on both the transmission/spread (number of cases) of COVID-19, the severity of the cases, and the number of deaths.

Looking at some options

We will now analyse the various options/choices in reverse order.

Option f) 4,100 cases and 30 deaths

This option provides a good estimate for the number of cases in the next 12 months from now. Even at a 67% vaccination level, the actual number of cases over the 12-month period may exceed 4100 cases should there be a number of outbreaks over the 12 month period, especially if one or more of the outbreaks is more severe than NZ has experienced up to now.

We therefore do not consider this option a worst-case scenario.

Since this option is not a worst-case scenario, it needs to be ranked last.

Option e) 12,000 cases and 80 deaths

New Zealand in the first month of the current Delta outbreak had close to 1000 cases. Fortunately there was only one death. We multiply the 1000 cases by 12 to get an annual figure. We use the number of cases and deaths in New Zealand to get 80 deaths pro rata for the 12,000 cases.

Since the 1,000 cases are all of the delta variant, we believe that 12,000 cases area  goof estimate of the number of cases over the next 12 months.

When the vaccination level doubles to 67%, the actual number of cases should be considerably less than 12,000 cases even if there are a number of outbreaks over the 12 month period and one or more of the outbreaks is more severe than NZ has experienced up to now.

We therefore consider this option to be the most suitable (fit for purpose) worst-case scenario.

We also note that 80 deaths is around the total number of deaths to date in Singapore. See:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/singapore/

Singapore has a similar population to New Zealand and is around 80% vaccinated. See:

Covid-19 NZ: Rodney Jones says Shaun Hendy’s 7000-death vaccine model doesn’t pass plausibility test

None of the first 10 respondents chose this option and only one of the next 10  respondents.

Ranking the options

We rank the remaining options in reverse order:

d) 185,000 cases and 850 deaths.

c) 185,000 cases and 2,100 deaths.

b) 500,000 cases and 2,100 deaths.

a) 1,300,000 cases and 7,000 deaths (Professor Hendy estimate).

We obtain the complete ranking in terms of suitability (fit for purpose):

e) 12,000 cases and 80 deaths.

d) 185,000 cases and 850 deaths.

c) 185,000 cases and 2,100 deaths.

b) 500,000 cases and 2,100 deaths.

a) 1,300,000 cases and 7,000 deaths (Professor Hendy estimate).

f) 4,100 cases and 30 deaths.

We need to rank f) last because we do not consider f) to be a worst-case scenario.

Intermediate voting results

Below are the results from the first 10 votes on the New Zealand social media App (Neighbourly):

Votes1

First 20 votes:

Votes2

First 30 votes:

Votes3

All 33 votes:

Votes33

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