To prevent surges in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, high vaccination rates and compliance with nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) are needed, according to research published in the May 5 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Rebecca K. Borchering, Ph.D., from the Pennsylvania State University in State College, and colleagues used a multiple-model approach comprising six models to assess the potential course of COVID-19 in the United States across four scenarios with different vaccination coverage rates and effectiveness estimates and strength and implementation of NPI during a six-month period (April to September 2021). The authors sought to provide long-term projections of potential trends in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
The researchers note that an accelerated decline in NPI adherence was shown to undermine vaccination-related gains during the subsequent two to three months and could lead to surges in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in combination with transmissibility of new variants. By July 2021, a sharp decline in cases was projected; in high vaccination scenarios, the decline was faster.
“Based on these findings, public health messaging to encourage vaccination and use of effective NPIs is essential to control the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent increases in COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths in the coming months,” the authors write.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to industry.