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  • rmacculloch

Questions for the Covid modelers

Probably more than almost anyone else, our official "Covid-19 modelers" have been hitting headlines on radio & TV shows, giving their maths-based predictions regards virus numbers & lock-down durations. In the Kiwi context, though not nearly so much in other nations, they have been very influential. So here are two questions for them, for which I haven't yet heard clear answers:


QUESTION ONE: If 70% of Kiwis were now fully vaccinated, instead of 30% where the

rate stands today, what would've been the chances of avoiding the current outbreak?

Had it still happened, how much smaller would it have been and how much shorter

would have been the lock-down?


Once we know the answer to that question, economists can readily determine how many billions of dollars would have been saved by a faster vaccination program.


QUESTION TWO: Once 70% of people are fully vaccinated & assuming NZ then starts

unwinding its elimination policy, how big could an outbreak still be? How many

hospitalizations could occur in that event? How about if the vaccination rate was 80%?


I suspect the answer to QUESTION TWO is that a major outbreak could easily still occur, given the experiences of places like the UK & Israel. And that such an outbreak could be of a size that would quickly overwhelm our health system, given there's been so little preparation the past year.


Aren't these kinds of questions the ones to which we should be given scientific answers, as private individuals, so each of us can form our own view as to whether or not the benefits of opening up outweigh the costs?