DALLAS (TBEN) – Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI), which improves healthcare for vulnerable populations using advanced data science and clinical experts, believes Dallas County will reach a critical point in “herd immunity” against the disease. COVID-19 at the end of June due to the total number of cases recovered and vaccinations.
The healthcare analytics nonprofit predicts Dallas County on track for 80% of county residents to achieve ‘herd immunity’ levels to COVID-19 by early summer. This prediction is based on models estimating people who have recovered from COVID-19 or who have received vaccinations.
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“Our forecasts are determined by the data, patterns and trends we have been monitoring and analyzing since the onset of the pandemic and informed by the latest national and international research. We are optimistic that by early summer much of Dallas County will achieve collective immunity, ”said Steve Miff, PhD, president and CEO of PCCI. “We will achieve herd immunity either through continued infection, which is a slow route that will continue to harm the community and the economy, or through vaccinations. This underscores the importance for Dallas County residents to sign up for and receive COVID-19 vaccines as quickly as possible and to continue to remain vigilant and safe from infection. We also strive to stay ahead of the development and dissemination of new, existing or future COVID-19 strains. We are in the same boat and will only succeed through our collective and combined efforts.
PCCI analysis, as of Feb. 22, shows county has already reached 44% of Dallas County’s 2.6 million adult residents, either recovered from COVID-19 or receiving their COVID-19 vaccine full. This includes 922,460 confirmed and presumed COVID-19 infected and cured, and 270,642 residents who received their first (154,766) and second (115,875) vaccines.
“Reaching the tipping point for collective immunity is achievable with a continued community effort,” said Thomas Roderick, PhD, senior director of data and applied science at PCCI. “But parts of the county might not share the early benefits of our estimated forecasts if they don’t keep pace with the vaccines. Vaccines are also the best line of defense against COVID-19 variants, so it is essential that vaccines are made available to as many people as possible and that residents of the county make it a priority to get vaccinated. .
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PCCI’s predictions for herd immunity are based on a widely accepted statistical analysis of the spread and management of disease within communities. Additionally, the 80% range of PCCI for achieving herd immunity is consistent with national estimates, such as that of Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has recently given a range of 70 to 90% and the World Health Organization which gave a range of 60 to 70% of infections and vaccines to achieve herd immunity *.
The PCCI forecasts and estimates were developed in coordination with and reviewed by Dallas County community health leaders, including experts from UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas County Health and Human Services, and Parkland Health & Hospital System.
“Our forecast for Dallas County to reach its tipping point for herd immunity includes algorithms to predict total infections and forecasts of vaccination rates. We encourage the community to participate in virological studies such as the one conducted by our colleagues at UT Southwestern (https://utswmed.org/covidstudy/) so that we can better understand infections and the impact of the community. We also need to register and vaccinate the most vulnerable as well as the rest of the population as soon as they are eligible, ”said George ‘Holt’ Oliver, MD, PhD, vice president of clinical informatics at PCCI.
The PCCI will update its forecast every month to understand how far the county is progressing towards its 80% rate of vaccinated and infected and recovered. The updates will incorporate the latest data, information and insight from new studies, research and developments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of emerging strains.
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