US Can Reach Herd Immunity by Summer - Morgan Stanley

February 11, 2021 9:43 AM EST

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In case the US manages to increase the current vaccination rate from about 1.5 million doses per day to 2.5 million doses, we could have about 75% of the eligible population (12+) vaccinated by mid-summer, writes Morgan Stanley analyst Matthew Harrison in a research note.

He discusses 6 different scenarios, where scenario 1 exceeds investor expectations, while scenarios 2-4 meet investors’ expectations, and scenarios 5-6 are below expectations. He also notes that the US has firm orders that total 900 million doses.

“Based on the current distribution from approved vaccines, the US will collectively receive at least 200M doses by the end of March (100M each from Pfizer/Moderna) and at least 500M doses by the end of June (200M/200M/100M from Moderna/Pfizer/J&J). With a total US population of ~330M, the doses from Pfizer/Moderna can cover 200M people (2shots/person) and the doses from J&J can cover 100M people (1 shot/person).

“Thus, only 30- 60M more doses are necessary to have coverage for the entire population. Note that the currently approved vaccines under EUA have been evaluated in individuals aged 16+ (Pfizer) or 18+ years (Moderna), and we would expect them to be approved in 12-16 y.o. by mid-to-late summer,” he writes.

In addition to established vaccine frontrunners, Harrison expects J&J to supply at least 15 million doses by the end of May. Therefore, he believes the US can reach herd immunity by the summer.

“We highlight that the willingness of people to be vaccinated is expected to be a major driver of the uptake and has recently improved based on the December CDC survey (here). 49% of adults are now definitely expecting to be vaccinated (up from 39% in September) and only 32% said they won't be vaccinated (down from 38% in September).”

According to the bank’s projections, the vaccines for the younger population are unlikely to be approved for pediatrics before 2022.



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