Concerns over COVID death projections for Alabama and the United States

IHME projecting 500K deaths in US by April

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A national study group believes a lot more deaths will occur in the United States due to COVID-19 in the coming weeks and months.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation uses statistical analysis to determine the number of deaths that could happen due to the spread of the pandemic. Some of their projections have been underestimations. The different numbers are due to different enforcement of safety rules and timely reporting.

IHME is now projecting more than a half million deaths in the United States by April 1. Alabama is projected to have more than 7,000 deaths.

Dr. Ali Mokdad with IHME said Alabama and the country is seeing the surge because of the recent holidays and this will lead to more deaths.

The research group makes projections on improvements if there were universal mask wearing and vaccine distribution. Dr. Mokdad said vaccinations will help cut the projections, especially if states would increase the shots and those providing them. He was critical of Alabama for having a small number of vaccinations and people to give them to meet a large demand. Until then, it doesn’t look good in the next couple of weeks.

“It’s going to get bad. It’s going to get worse before it gets better and in the coming two weeks, the number of cases will increase. We are seeing right now in Alabama and the nation record hospitalizations and of course a couple of weeks later we will see more mortality,” Mokdad said.

Dr. Mokdad suggested the state needed to address the vaccine rollout problem. Mokdad said more people should be used to vaccinate people.

More vaccinations will help reduce the projections by summer, but the biggest problem would be if there are major side effects of the vaccines and if they were not addressed.

Copyright 2021 WBRC. All rights reserved.