The 21st century will be remembered in history as the era that demarcates between pre and post COVID-19 times. We are currently preparing ourselves to enter a post-pandemic world while fighting the battle against the deadly COVID-19. Many countries are preparing to tackle the third wave of COVID-19, while some badly hit by the second wave are recovering from the damages.
In these testing times, the increase of vaccination awareness is a silver lining in the dark clouds. Developed nations have already shown the rest of the world that vaccinations are the only way to defeat this deadly pandemic and are making sure everyone is fully vaccinated. Hence, there is a solid need to study and gain insights into this space to provide confidence not just by expert opinions but also by data.
The team at LatentView Analytics has done a quick study on the impact of COVID-19 in India and the correlation of the vaccination resistance against the rise in cases. With developed nations like the United States leading the way and setting an example on how to overcome this pandemic, we took Machine Learning as a tool to showcase what it will take for a nation like India to achieve the same. It is interesting to find that the percentage of the population vaccinated in a country significantly impacts its daily positive cases. We have attempted to predict the long tail of the COVID-19 instances in which we have considered the vaccination rate and have extrapolated it to arrive at the results.
India lost 332K lives; 28.2 million people have already been tested positive
India is one of the highly impacted nations by COVID-19. So far, 28.2 million people have been tested positive to Covid, and almost 3,32,000 people have lost their lives as of 31st May 2021. This increase is attributed to the second wave since the number of positive cases, and deaths were low until March. But by mid-April, India witnessed the rise of the second wave, and by early May, the wave was at its peak. Multiple factors led to the rise of the second wave, and India almost went to a complete lockdown again.
A noteworthy observation is that we had a slightly delayed start in understanding the seriousness of the vaccinations. As of 31st May 2021, only 3.1% of the Indian population had received both vaccine dosages. 12.1% had been administered the first dose.
This has indeed helped the nation fight against this deadly pandemic. Still, the rate at which the population is getting vaccinated may not be enough to overcome the rising cases immediately. Let us look at how the US handled a similar situation and the strategies they implemented to reduce the cases significantly.
During the beginning of this year, the US witnessed almost 4K+ deaths daily, but they took necessary actions to counter the deadly signs immediately. There was enough awareness raised on the importance of vaccines while simultaneously increasing the availability of vaccines. More than one million vaccinations were made available every day from January. By April, more than three million vaccinations were administered every day. By the end of May, the US achieved a feat that not many countries have done so far. They could vaccinate more than 50% of the population, and almost 41% of their entire population is fully vaccinated.
By the end of May, the US brought down their daily positive cases to less than 25K, reducing the deaths to less than a thousand. This decline in cases can be attributed to the effort to get every individual vaccinated. This is also evident from the fact that the vaccinations and daily cases are highly negatively correlated and had a score of ~0.75.
Similarly, countries like France and Brazil have seen a drop in cases because of the increase in the number of people getting vaccinated.
India can bring down the daily cases to less than 25,000 if 60% of the entire population gets the first dose of vaccine by mid-October.
Considering the current vaccination rate and the daily cases rate, we developed a model to predict the trajectory of the COVID-19 cases in India. We used the historical data till May 2021 and did feature engineering to consider the periodicity and the longevity of the pandemic since its beginning in January 2020. We also added the vaccination rate and the count of vaccinated people to improve the model’s accuracy. The results show that if 60% of the entire population receives the first dose of vaccination and 15% are fully vaccinated by mid-October, then the daily cases might go down to 25,000 or even less than that. The accuracy for the first four days of June was around 95%, and we believe the predictions might hold if the expected vaccination numbers are met. If the vaccination rate speeds up, the country should be able to reduce the cases much earlier.
Let’s put an end to this pandemic: Get vaccinated, stay indoors, and take necessary precautions
Countries worldwide have seen a decline in COVID-19 cases due to the awareness of vaccination and availability of vaccines. The consequences of the pandemic are rather severe, and this is the time to stand together. Getting vaccinated should be a priority. Those with health issues can always consult their doctor before taking the vaccinations. Staying indoors and taking precautions, including thoroughly washing hands and maintaining social distancing, are the need of the hour.
Together we can overcome this pandemic very soon, just like the way we have defeated many other pandemics in the past. Be happy, stay safe, and spread positivity.
Source: Data is obtained from https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations?country=IND