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Total doses produced
The US Census counts residents, including those in the US illegally/undocumented. It does not count US citizens residing abroad. The US has roughly 330M residents currently, but only 255M 18+. At this time, the vaccines are approved only for 16+ (Pfizer) or 18+ (Moderna).

For age-specific numbers from the census, I use this table.

For 2019, it estimates 328,239,523 for all ages,
263,534,161 for 16+,
255,271,738 for 18+.

My understanding is that the US is not providing vaccine for US citizens living abroad except for those on active military duty and Department of State personnel.


The CDC COVID Data Tracker uses some population estimate that I don't understand. Today, it shows 5,452,575 doses distributed to California and indicates that is 13,800 per 100K. From that, one can calculate their per capita rate is based on a population of 32.8M. The census table above shows a total population of 39.5M, 18+ of 30.6M, 16+ of 31.6M.

Likewise, I don't know which population figure is used for the original distribution of vaccines. I thought it was 18+.


Certainly for the ACS table I'm using, the US Census Bureau uses estimates, with an error estimate in the range of 0.1%. It is not a count for which they have a name for each person counted. The Census Bureau is aware of and combats the difficulty of counting those who don't want to be counted. For this estimate, I don't know whether illegal/undocumented/unauthorized individuals might be underestimated or overestimated. I presume they are estimated as closely as possible.

For herd immunity, it is appropriate to compare vaccination numbers versus total population. For how far along a community is in vaccinating, it seems appropriate to compare to the eligible population.

I noticed that San Mateo County compares its vaccinated to a county population of 780,273, while the ACS table above shows a total population of 766,573, 18+ of 611, 781, 16+ of 630,766.
Are teens and younger kids not getting the vaccine? Seems like they should, at some point.
There are ongoing clinical trials for (I believe) teenagers. They were not in the earlier trials and so the vaccines are not known to safe & effective for them. For reasons I don't understand, the CDC chose to include 16+ for Pfizer (only) even though the trials only included 18+.
I believe the 2019 population numbers above are for the 50 states and DC but do not include the remaining territories. Adjusting for the territories and the passage of a couple years, I estimate the population over 16 to be about 270 million.

600 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna would vaccinate 30 million more people than the entire population over 16. Another 100 million doses of Johnson & Johnson would add up to more than you would need to jab every single person. However, several considerations may make the administration's approach reasonable:

1. Getting it done fast is worth more than the cost of the vaccine. In an enterprise of this scale, it's inevitable that there will be problems with delays in production and batches that have to be scrapped. You want to have excess supply available to make up for the glitches without slowing down.

2.  Some experts are talking about possibly needing booster shots to deal with some of the mutations. They can probably switch some of the capacity to these booster shots when they are ready.

3. If everything goes perfectly and we really end up with more vaccines than we can use, the doses can probably be used to help out some of our less well off neighbors. That would help open up areas for American travel and trade and would help restore some of the goodwill that has been incinerated in recent years.

4.  If all else fails, most government contracts have a termination for convenience clause. Although it's not a freebie, the end cost would probably not be tremendously more than what a smaller order in the original contract would have cost.

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