Time to Vaccinate

Using Bayesian Structural Times Series to estimate when some North Carolina counties will be vaccinated to a sufficient number.

bayes
time series
public health
Covid-19
Author
Affiliation
Published

May 7, 2021

This post is completely inspired by @mjskay ’s very interesting analysis/ critique of a New York Times linear extrapolation of when the United States would reach the critical proportion for vaccination. The New York Times has made some amazing graphics during the pandemic, but their analyses have been pretty spotty. Between this linear extrapolation of vaccination rates and their SIRs for third and fourth waves, they really need to put some additional thought into the more math heavy type work.

I try to avoid the whole “herd immunity” lingo. In Anderson and May, the refer to the “critical proportion” at which herd immunity protection effects kick in. I like this formulation a bit better.

Matt uses Bayesian Structural Time Series implemented in the bsts package(which I really like) in order to make a more nuanced analysis. Additionally, because we know that the percent vaccinated is monotonically increasing and bounded between 0 and 1, we can make some transforms to our data.

North Carolina

I along with some work colleauges have been maintaining a package called nccovid (available at remotes::install_github("conedatascience/nccovid)) which allows for ready access to North Carolina COVID-19 related data. This does not represent the views of my employer.

Data Prep

First I am going to pull in the needed packages:

library(tidyverse)
── Attaching packages ─────────────────────────────────────── tidyverse 1.3.1 ──
✓ ggplot2 3.3.5.9000     ✓ purrr   0.3.4.9000
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✓ readr   2.1.2          ✓ forcats 0.5.1     
── Conflicts ────────────────────────────────────────── tidyverse_conflicts() ──
x dplyr::filter() masks stats::filter()
x dplyr::lag()    masks stats::lag()
library(lubridate)

Attaching package: 'lubridate'
The following objects are masked from 'package:base':

    date, intersect, setdiff, union
library(ggdist)
library(tidybayes)
library(bsts)
Loading required package: BoomSpikeSlab
Loading required package: Boom
Loading required package: MASS

Attaching package: 'MASS'
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Attaching package: 'Boom'
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Loading required package: xts

Attaching package: 'xts'
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Attaching package: 'bsts'
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library(patchwork)

Attaching package: 'patchwork'
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library(tidyverse)
library(posterior)
This is posterior version 1.2.1

Attaching package: 'posterior'
The following objects are masked from 'package:stats':

    mad, sd, var
theme_set(theme_ggdist())

And now we can pull in the North Carolina data:

dat <- nccovid::get_vaccinations()

nc_oa <- dat[,.(people_partial_vax = sum(people_partial_vax, na.rm = TRUE),
                                         population = sum(population, na.rm = TRUE)), by = "date"] %>% 
  .[,vax:=people_partial_vax/population] %>% 
  .[order(date)]

It’s good to plot these data just to make sure they “feel” right.

nc_oa %>% 
  ggplot(aes(date, vax))+
  geom_line()+
  labs(
    title = "Cumulative Percent of North Carolinians Vaccinated",
    caption = "Data: North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services\nAnalysis: @medewittjr",
    y = "Percent Vaccinated"
  )+
  scale_y_continuous(labels = scales::percent)+
  geom_smooth(method = "lm", color = "red",alpha = .1, lty = "dashed")
`geom_smooth()` using formula 'y ~ x'

Running Percentage Vaccinated

So we can see that linear fit for North Carolina likely isn’t valid, at least not in the last few weeks. Regardless, we have out data for the next steps of the analysis.

Data Transformation

As I mentioned earlier and a critical point of this analysis is that we know a few things about vaccinations. Firstly, vaccinations are non-reversible and are thus monotonically increasing (e.g., they can only increase). Additionally, depending on the definition you take, the percentage of the population vaccinated with a first dose is bound between 0 and 1.

It’s a bit of a joke. I suppose someone could have multiple first doses if you change the definition to the manufacturer of the vaccine.

With these features in mind, we can use a logit transform on our vaccinations and then fit that on our data.

nc_log_diff <- nc_oa %>%
  group_by(people_partial_vax) %>% 
  mutate(id = row_number()) %>% 
  filter(id == min(id)) %>% 
  dplyr::select(-id) %>% 
  ungroup() %>% 
  mutate(log_diff_vax = c(NA, log(diff(qlogis(vax))))) %>%
  slice(-1)
Warning in log(diff(qlogis(vax))): NaNs produced

Now we can fit the model using the priors that Matt used.

fit = with(nc_log_diff, bsts(log_diff_vax, 
  state.specification = list() %>%
    AddSemilocalLinearTrend(log_diff_vax,
      level.sigma.prior = SdPrior(0.5, 1),
      slope.mean.prior = NormalPrior(0,0.5),
      initial.level.prior = NormalPrior(0,0.5),
      initial.slope.prior = NormalPrior(0,0.5),
      slope.sigma.prior = SdPrior(0.5, 1),
      slope.ar1.prior = Ar1CoefficientPrior(0, 0.5)
    ) %>%
    AddSeasonal(log_diff_vax, 7, 
      sigma.prior = SdPrior(0.5, 1)
    ),
  prior = SdPrior(0.5, 1),
  niter = 40000,
  seed = 336 
))
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Diagnostics (that I did not know could be leveraged from posterior. just a really great package).

draws <- as_draws(do.call(cbind, fit[startsWith(names(fit), "trend") | startsWith(names(fit), "sigma")]))
summary(draws, median, mad, quantile2, default_convergence_measures()) %>% 
  knitr::kable(digits = 3)
variable median mad q5 q95 rhat ess_bulk ess_tail
sigma.obs 0.662 0.046 0.587 0.738 1.000 3238.283 5546.135
trend.level.sd 0.207 0.040 0.149 0.279 1.000 946.689 1952.008
trend.slope.mean -0.019 0.018 -0.049 0.010 1.000 10116.282 15951.645
trend.slope.ar.coefficient -0.528 0.196 -0.779 -0.147 1.000 1167.024 2064.123
trend.slope.sd 0.286 0.056 0.206 0.397 1.001 836.403 1987.393
sigma.seasonal.7 0.141 0.023 0.110 0.184 1.004 1432.967 2953.111

All of the Gelman-Rubin statistics look good as well as the effective sample sizes, so I’m happy with what I see. However, it is always good to visualize the outputs as well:

bayesplot::mcmc_trace(draws)

Trace plots look pretty good as well.

Predictions

Now we can predict out with our model for 180 days.

forecast_days <- 180

fits <- nc_log_diff %>%
  add_draws(colSums(aperm(fit$state.contributions, c(2, 1, 3))))

predictions <- nc_log_diff %$%
  tibble(date = max(date) + days(1:forecast_days)) %>%
  add_draws(predict(fit, horizon = forecast_days)$distribution, value = "log_diff_vax")

Now we need to convert our predictions back into percentages:

pred_vax = predictions %>%
  group_by(.draw) %>%
  mutate(
    vax = plogis(cumsum(c(
      qlogis(tail(nc_log_diff$vax, 1)) + exp(log_diff_vax[[1]]),
      exp(log_diff_vax[-1])
    )))
  )

Results

Now we can visualize the outputs. We see that there is a high degree of uncertainty regarding what proportion of the population will likely be vaccinated in the coming 180 days.

widths = c(.5, .8, .95)
pred_vax %>%
  ggplot(aes(date, vax)) +
  stat_lineribbon(.width = widths, color = "#08519c") +
  scale_fill_brewer()+
  geom_line(data = nc_oa, size = 1)+
  labs(
    title = "Percent vaccinated (at least partially vaccinated)",
    subtitle = "For the State of North Carolina",
    y = NULL,
    x = NULL
  )+
  scale_y_continuous(limits = c(0,1), labels = scales::percent_format())

The next big question is what will be our likely vaccine coverage. If we want to target 80% of the population vaccinated, which is aggressive, but needed if \(R0\) of SARS-CoV-2 is close to 4-4.5 and the vaccine effectiveness is between 90-95%.

prob <- pred_vax %>%
  group_by(date) %>%
  summarise(prob_vax_gt_x = mean(vax > .80)) %>%
  ggplot(aes(date, prob_vax_gt_x)) +
  geom_line(color = "#08519c", size = 1) +
  theme_ggdist() +
  geom_hline(yintercept = 0.5, alpha = 0.25) +
  scale_y_continuous(limits = c(0,1), labels = scales::percent_format()) +
  labs(
    subtitle = "Pr(Percent vaccinated > 80%)",
    y = NULL,
    x = NULL
  )

prob

Sadly, it looks like that is a low probability outcome.

What about a county?

Just for fun I want to run through a single North Carolina County and see if there is any difference.

# Oddly one day showed a decrease...government records....
forsyth_log_diff <- dat[county=="Forsyth",c("county", 
                                            "people_partial_vax",
                                            "population",
                                            "date")] %>%
  .[,vax:=people_partial_vax/population] %>% 
  group_by(people_partial_vax) %>% 
  mutate(id = row_number()) %>% 
  filter(id == min(id)) %>% 
  dplyr::select(-id) %>% 
  ungroup() %>% 
  mutate(log_diff_vax = c(NA, log(diff(qlogis(vax))))) %>%
  filter(!is.na(log_diff_vax)) %>% 
  slice(-1)
Warning in log(diff(qlogis(vax))): NaNs produced
fit = with(forsyth_log_diff, bsts(log_diff_vax, 
  state.specification = list() %>%
    AddSemilocalLinearTrend(log_diff_vax,
      level.sigma.prior = SdPrior(0.5, 1),
      slope.mean.prior = NormalPrior(0,0.5),
      initial.level.prior = NormalPrior(0,0.5),
      initial.slope.prior = NormalPrior(0,0.5),
      slope.sigma.prior = SdPrior(0.5, 1),
      slope.ar1.prior = Ar1CoefficientPrior(0, 0.5)
    ) %>%
    AddSeasonal(log_diff_vax, 7, 
      sigma.prior = SdPrior(0.5, 1)
    ),
  prior = SdPrior(0.5, 1),
  niter = 40000,
  seed = 336 
))
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fits <- forsyth_log_diff %>%
  add_draws(colSums(aperm(fit$state.contributions, c(2, 1, 3))))

predictions <- forsyth_log_diff %$%
  tibble(date = max(date) + days(1:forecast_days)) %>%
  add_draws(predict(fit, horizon = forecast_days)$distribution, value = "log_diff_vax")

pred_vax = predictions %>%
  group_by(.draw) %>%
  mutate(
    vax = plogis(cumsum(c(
      qlogis(tail(forsyth_log_diff$vax, 1)) + exp(log_diff_vax[[1]]),
      exp(log_diff_vax[-1])
    )))
  )
pred_vax %>%
  ggplot(aes(date, vax)) +
  stat_lineribbon(.width = widths, color = "#08519c") +
  scale_fill_brewer()+
  geom_line(data = forsyth_log_diff, size = 1)+
  labs(
    title = "Percent vaccinated (at least partially vaccinated)",
    subtitle = "For the Forsth County, North Carolina",
    y = NULL,
    x = NULL
  )+
  scale_y_continuous(limits = c(0,1), labels = scales::percent_format())

pred_vax %>%
  group_by(date) %>%
  summarise(prob_vax_gt_x = mean(vax > .80)) %>%
  ggplot(aes(date, prob_vax_gt_x)) +
  geom_line(color = "#08519c", size = 1) +
  theme_ggdist() +
  geom_hline(yintercept = 0.5, alpha = 0.25) +
  scale_y_continuous(limits = c(0,1), labels = scales::percent_format()) +
  labs(
    title = "Pr(Percent vaccinated > 80%)",
    subtitle = "For Forsyth County, North Carolina",
    y = NULL,
    x = NULL
  )

Hmm, not too much better

knitr::include_graphics("notbad.gif")

Reuse

Citation

BibTeX citation:
@online{dewitt2021,
  author = {Michael DeWitt},
  editor = {},
  title = {Time to {Vaccinate}},
  date = {2021-05-07},
  url = {https://michaeldewittjr.com/programming/2021-05-07-time-to-vaccinate},
  langid = {en}
}
For attribution, please cite this work as:
Michael DeWitt. 2021. “Time to Vaccinate.” May 7, 2021. https://michaeldewittjr.com/programming/2021-05-07-time-to-vaccinate.