Tra vaccini e diminuzione della contagiosità da Covid-19, resta una domanda sospesa nell'aria: quando usciremo dalla pandemia? La risposta del simulatore
Veronica Nicosia Giornalista scientifico
Laureata in astrofisica, giornalista scientifico e content editor SEO, scrive di tecnologia per magazine online e carta stampata. Nel 2020 approda a Libero Tecnologia
Quando finirà la pandemia e potremo tornare a una vita "New normal"? E quando raggiungeremo l’immunità di gregge? These are the questions we're all looking for an answer to today, with contagions decreasing and the vaccination campaign advancing.
Now a simulator born from the project of Iconsulting, an Italian consulting firm working in the world of data, seems to be able to give an answer. The analysts have developed a mathematical model that takes into account all available data, in particular on the speed of administration of vaccines and the contagiousness of Covid-19. By entering the official data released by the Ministry of Health, it was possible to obtain two key dates. If the vaccination campaign continues as it does today, the new normal or "New Normal" will be reached as early as September 2021. For the herd immunity, however, we will have to wait another year: according to the simulator will not arrive before September 2021.
Covid-19: how the simulator works
The simulator of Iconsulting is based on the extension of an algorithm called "SIR model", which takes into account two fundamental factors: the immunity acquired by individuals through vaccination and the restrictions of the winter period. Using data from the Ministry of Health, which provide valuable information on both the progress of the pandemic in Italy and the vaccination campaign, it was possible to evaluate different scenarios on how the Covid-19 situation will evolve in the country.
The SIR model thus allows to obtain two important parameters: to define a possible date for the New Normal, a newfound normality in which all activities will be open even if it will still be necessary to use masks and distancing, and that for when we will reach the herd immunity, which will be considered achieved with the immunization of at least 75% of the population. Two important steps that will finally mark the exit of Italy from the pandemic.
The simulator therefore takes into account both the variations of contagiousness of the virus, which could increase again with the approach of the winter period and require new restrictions, and the speed of the vaccination campaign, which could increase in the summer or slow down, for example if the availability of doses becomes a problem.
Covid-19: when will New Normal and herd immunity arrive
Based on the data present in the archives of the Ministry of Health as of June 6, 2021, Iconsulting has managed to simulate the evolution of the pandemic until the end of the year 2022, indicating the two most likely dates when we will finally see the light after the darkness of the Covid-19 pandemic.
If there are no changes in contagiousness, even with the arrival of new variants such as Delta, and vaccinations continue at the rate of 500,000 doses per day administered through August, and then increase to 750,000 doses per day from September, the New Normal will be reached by September 2021. This period could even be reduced to August 2021 if the pace of vaccinations administered increases a month earlier.
As for herd immunity, if the contagiousness of the virus decreases by 25% and vaccine administrations remain at 750,000 doses per day, the goal would be reached as early as November 2021. With the arrival of variants such as Delta, however, there is cause for cautious optimism: in the worst-case scenario, if the virus increasing contagiousness by 75% and vaccines again declining to less than 500,000 doses per day, we will need to be patient for another year: herd immunity will be achieved in September 2022.