Vaccine Efficacy Needed for a COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine to Prevent or Stop an Epidemic as the Sole Intervention

Sarah M. Bartsch, Kelly J. O'Shea, Marie C. Ferguson, Maria Elena Bottazzi, Patrick T. Wedlock, Ulrich Strych, James A. McKinnell, Sheryl S. Siegmund, Sarah N. Cox, Peter J. Hotez, Bruce Y. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Given the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and much of the U.S. implementing social distancing owing to the lack of alternatives, there has been a push to develop a vaccine to eliminate the need for social distancing. Methods: In 2020, the team developed a computational model of the U.S. simulating the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus and vaccination. Results: Simulation experiments revealed that to prevent an epidemic (reduce the peak by >99%), the vaccine efficacy has to be at least 60% when vaccination coverage is 100% (reproduction number=2.5–3.5). This vaccine efficacy threshold rises to 70% when coverage drops to 75% and up to 80% when coverage drops to 60% when reproduction number is 2.5, rising to 80% when coverage drops to 75% when the reproduction number is 3.5. To extinguish an ongoing epidemic, the vaccine efficacy has to be at least 60% when coverage is 100% and at least 80% when coverage drops to 75% to reduce the peak by 85%–86%, 61%–62%, and 32% when vaccination occurs after 5%, 15%, and 30% of the population, respectively, have already been exposed to COVID-19 coronavirus. A vaccine with an efficacy between 60% and 80% could still obviate the need for other measures under certain circumstances such as much higher, and in some cases, potentially unachievable, vaccination coverages. Conclusions: This study found that the vaccine has to have an efficacy of at least 70% to prevent an epidemic and of at least 80% to largely extinguish an epidemic without any other measures (e.g., social distancing).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-503
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Volume59
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Vaccine Efficacy Needed for a COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine to Prevent or Stop an Epidemic as the Sole Intervention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this