Optimizing influenza vaccine policies for controlling 2009-like pandemics and regular outbreaks

Sheng-I Chen*, Chia Yuan Wu, Yu Hsuan Wu, Min Wei Hsieh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. This study examined the effectiveness of various vaccine policies against influenza. The transmission rate was calculated by use of the time-series influenza-like illness case during the year of 2009 and recent epidemics in Taiwan. Methods. We developed a stochastic compartmental model to analyze the transmission of influenza, where the population was stratified by location and age group, and the vaccine distribution was considered using the current policy. The simulation study compared the previous vaccine policy and a new policy with expanded coverage and various lengths of the vaccination campaign. The sensitivity analysis investigated different levels of vaccine efficacy to confirm the robustness of the recommended policies. Results. Doubling vaccine coverage can decrease the number of infections effectively in the regular epidemic scenario. However, a peak of infections occurs if the duration of implementing vaccination is too long. In the 2009-like pandemic scenario, both increasing vaccine doses and reducing the program's duration can mitigate infections, although the early outbreak restricts the effectiveness of vaccination programs. Conclusions. The finding indicates that only increasing vaccine coverage can reduce influenza infections. To avoid the peak of infections, it is also necessary to execute the vaccination activity immediately. Vaccine efficacy significantly impacts the vaccination policy's performance. When vaccine efficacy is low, neither increasing vaccination doses nor reducing vaccination timeframe prevents infections. Therefore, the variation in vaccine efficacy should be taken into account when making immunization policies against influenza.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere6340
JournalPeerJ
Volume2019
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Disease model
  • Influenza
  • Simulation
  • Vaccine policy

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