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A mathematical model reveals the influence of population heterogeneity on herd immunity to SARS-CoV-2

Britton, Tom; Ball, Frank; Trapman, Pieter

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Authors

Tom Britton

FRANK BALL frank.ball@nottingham.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Probability

Pieter Trapman



Abstract

Despite various levels of preventive measures, in 2020 many countries have suffered severely from the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus. We show that population heterogeneity can significantly impact disease-induced immunity as the proportion infected in groups with the highest contact rates is greater than in groups with low contact rates. We estimate that if R0 = 2.5 in an age-structured community with mixing rates fitted to social activity then the disease-induced herd immunity level can be around 43%, which is substantially less than the classical herd immunity level of 60% obtained through homogeneous immunization of the population. Our estimates should be interpreted as an illustration of how population heterogeneity affects herd immunity, rather than an exact value or even a best estimate.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 18, 2020
Online Publication Date Jun 23, 2020
Publication Date Aug 14, 2020
Deposit Date Jul 17, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jul 17, 2020
Journal Science
Print ISSN 0036-8075
Electronic ISSN 1095-9203
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 369
Issue 6505
Article Number eabc6810
Pages 846-849
DOI https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abc6810
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/4771351
Publisher URL https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/06/22/science.abc6810

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