New UB fashions present COVID-19 vaccinations that Western New York is already benefiting from
‘The bad news is, yes, the variant will affect us. The good news is that the vaccines reduce this effect and really work for us. ‘
BUFFALO, NY – While the coronavirus vaccine rollout may not be as fast as many have assumed, new data from the University of Buffalo shows that the vaccinations are already beneficial for West New York.
Dr. Peter Winkelstein, the executive director of the UB Institute of Health Informatics, said his team has been modeling COVID-19 across the community since last March and that their research is mainly focused on the number of patients in the hospital.
He told 2 on Your Side that for his team, the hospital census is the best measure of how much COVID infection there is in the community.
“The most recent work we have done is to look at what effect both vaccines have on the number of patients in the hospital and what effect a new, more transmissible variant could have on the number of patients in the hospital,” said Dr . Winkelstein.
He believes their results are reasonably optimistic.
“If we can continue to vaccinate at a reasonable rate, in our models it looks like the vaccines are more or less winning, that the vaccines keep the increase in infections from the variant to a very mild level. It gets dull.” the effect of the variant, “said Dr. Winkelstein.
“The bad news is, yes, the variant will affect us. The good news is that the vaccines mitigate this effect and really work for us.”
Dr. Winkelstein said 2 on your side that he was surprised that the vaccines had a significant effect immediately.
“It wasn’t that we had to wait until we got herd immunity to see an effect, but that we would see an effect early,” he explained.
The following graphics were included in a UB press release on February 25th. You can see the full version here.
This graph shows that even the current vaccination rate will reduce the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 by at least 10% by March 1. (Source: Gabriel Anaya and Sarah Mulin, University in Buffalo)
This graph shows that even for the UK variant, vaccines that are at least 50% effective against the variant – and the data suggests they are likely to be more effective – still reduce the impact on hospital stays in West New York. (Source: Gabriel Anaya and Sarah Mulin, University in Buffalo)
Dr. Winkelstein stressed that this research assumes that people will continue to exercise caution and follow public health guidelines such as wearing a mask, social distancing, and avoiding gatherings as much as possible.
He added that he encourages people to be thoughtful when deciding whether or not to get the vaccine.
“I recommend it,” said Dr. Winkelstein. “I think the vaccine works. I think it’s safe. I believe enough that I actually got it myself.”