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Background

Back in October, Dr. Fauci said that the United States will need societal restrictions potentially until the beginning of 2022 according to WebMD:

Coronavirus vaccines -- once approved and distributed widely to the public -- won’t be a “knockout punch” that eradicates the virus, he said. Instead, he expects the process to take time and anticipates a 70% effectiveness rate for an approved vaccine. Public precautions such as face masks and social distancing will need to continue during the distribution process.

The Vaccine(s)

Several vaccines that are coming out in the United States are upwards of 90% projected effectiveness. This is a significant increase from the 70% mentioned by Dr. Fauci in October. Because of this marked difference in effectiveness, I would like to know the following....

Question

How long would restrictions likely have to last in the United States if the vaccine was upwards of 90% effective?

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  • 2
    This depends at least as much on politics as medical science; I think any answer would be pure speculation and opinion. Dec 18 '20 at 5:22
  • It depends what hospitalization level the country would accept etc. Restriction decision-makers in the US vary by state and even by county due to the federal structure. If you want to ask an abstract question about an epidemiological model where goal is herd immunity, this can be answered, but even then it depends on the model.
    – Fizz
    Dec 18 '20 at 12:04
  • 1
    See uk.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-immunity-analysis/… for a discussion.
    – Fizz
    Dec 18 '20 at 12:11
  • 1
    And thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32318-7/… for a more technical one.
    – Fizz
    Dec 18 '20 at 12:20
  • Until the restrictions stop being politically useful. So never.
    – Studoku
    Dec 21 '20 at 13:45