Should we feel optimistic about the coming months of the COVID-19 pandemic because positive tests and hospitalizations are declining and more people are getting the vaccine every day? Or should we be pessimistic because dangerous, easily transmissible variants of the virus are spreading around the globe and into New York? “I think I am a glass-half-full person,” says Manoj J. Mammen, MD
, associate professor of medicine
. Still, he adds: “We haven’t won the war yet. We’ll still have to struggle in the coming months.” Peter Winkelstein, MD
, clinical professor of pediatrics
and executive director of UB’s Institute for Healthcare Informatics
, leads a team that models COVID-19 hospitalizations in Erie County. If vaccinations can reach 5,000 or more doses delivered per day, the number of hospital patients could fall to almost zero within two months, assuming variants do not take hold. “We don't have to wait for everybody to be immunized before we see an effect from the vaccine,” Winkelstein says.