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1.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 19: 100446, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1914781

ABSTRACT

Background: Starting from the final months of 2021, the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant expanded globally, swiftly replacing Delta, the variant that was dominant at the time. Many uncertainties remain about the epidemiology of Omicron; here, we aim to estimate its generation time. Methods: We used a Bayesian approach to analyze 23,122 SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals clustered in 8903 households as determined from contact tracing operations in Reggio Emilia, Italy, throughout January 2022. We estimated the distribution of the intrinsic generation time (the time between the infection dates of an infector and its secondary cases in a fully susceptible population), realized household generation time, realized serial interval (time between symptom onset of an infector and its secondary cases), and contribution of pre-symptomatic transmission. Findings: We estimated a mean intrinsic generation time of 6.84 days (95% credible intervals, CrI, 5.72-8.60), and a mean realized household generation time of 3.59 days (95%CrI: 3.55-3.60). The household serial interval was 2.38 days (95%CrI 2.30-2.47) with about 51% (95%CrI 45-56%) of infections caused by symptomatic individuals being generated before symptom onset. Interpretation: These results indicate that the intrinsic generation time of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant might not have shortened as compared to previous estimates on ancestral lineages, Alpha and Delta, in the same geographic setting. Like for previous lineages, pre-symptomatic transmission appears to play a key role for Omicron transmission. Estimates in this study may be useful to design quarantine, isolation and contact tracing protocols and to support surveillance (e.g., for the accurate computation of reproduction numbers). Funding: The study was partially funded by EU grant 874850 MOOD.

2.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 483, 2022 May 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1902359

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Contact patterns play a key role in the spread of respiratory infectious diseases in human populations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the regular contact patterns of the population have been disrupted due to social distancing both imposed by the authorities and individual choices. Many studies have focused on age-mixing patterns before the COVID-19 pandemic, but they provide very little information about the mixing patterns in the COVID-19 era. In this study, we aim at quantifying human heterogeneous mixing patterns immediately after lockdowns implemented to contain COVID-19 spread in China were lifted. We also provide an illustrative example of how the collected mixing patterns can be used in a simulation study of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. METHODS AND RESULTS: In this work, a contact survey was conducted in Chinese provinces outside Hubei in March 2020, right after lockdowns were lifted. We then leveraged the estimated mixing patterns to calibrate a mathematical model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Study participants reported 2.3 contacts per day (IQR: 1.0-3.0) and the mean per-contact duration was 7.0 h (IQR: 1.0-10.0). No significant differences in average contact number and contact duration were observed between provinces, the number of recorded contacts did not show a clear trend by age, and most of the recorded contacts occurred with family members (about 78%). The simulation study highlights the importance of considering age-specific contact patterns to estimate the COVID-19 burden. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that, despite lockdowns were no longer in place at the time of the survey, people were still heavily limiting their contacts as compared to the pre-pandemic situation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Pandemics , Physical Distancing
3.
Epidemics ; 40: 100601, 2022 Jun 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1895034

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: After a rapid upsurge of COVID-19 cases in Italy during the fall of 2020, the government introduced a three-tiered restriction system aimed at increasing physical distancing. The Ministry of Health, after periodic epidemiological risk assessments, assigned a tier to each of the 21 Italian regions and autonomous provinces. It is still unclear to what extent these different sets of measures altered the number of daily interactions and the social mixing patterns. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted a survey between July 2020 and March 2021 to monitor changes in social contact patterns among individuals in the metropolitan city of Milan, Italy, which was hardly hit by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of daily contacts during periods characterized by different levels of restrictions was analyzed through negative binomial regression models and age-specific contact matrices were estimated under the different tiers of restrictions. By relying on the empirically estimated mixing patterns, we quantified relative changes in SARS-CoV-2 transmission potential associated with the different tiers. As tighter restrictions were implemented during the fall of 2020, a progressive reduction in the mean number of daily contacts recorded by study participants was observed: from 15.9 % under mild restrictions (yellow tier), to 41.8 % under strong restrictions (red tier). Higher restrictions levels were also found to increase the relative contribution of contacts occurring within the household. The SARS-CoV-2 reproduction number was estimated to decrease by 17.1 % (95 %CI: 1.5-30.1), 25.1 % (95 %CI: 13.0-36.0) and 44.7 % (95 %CI: 33.9-53.0) under the yellow, orange, and red tiers, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our results give an important quantification of the expected contribution of different restriction levels in shaping social contacts and decreasing the transmission potential of SARS-CoV-2. These estimates can find an operational use in anticipating the effect that the implementation of these tiered restriction can have on SARS-CoV-2 reproduction number under an evolving epidemiological situation.

4.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(26): e2112182119, 2022 06 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890404

ABSTRACT

Detailed characterization of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission across different settings can help design less disruptive interventions. We used real-time, privacy-enhanced mobility data in the New York City, NY and Seattle, WA metropolitan areas to build a detailed agent-based model of SARS-CoV-2 infection to estimate the where, when, and magnitude of transmission events during the pandemic's first wave. We estimate that only 18% of individuals produce most infections (80%), with about 10% of events that can be considered superspreading events (SSEs). Although mass gatherings present an important risk for SSEs, we estimate that the bulk of transmission occurred in smaller events in settings like workplaces, grocery stores, or food venues. The places most important for transmission change during the pandemic and are different across cities, signaling the large underlying behavioral component underneath them. Our modeling complements case studies and epidemiological data and indicates that real-time tracking of transmission events could help evaluate and define targeted mitigation policies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Contact Tracing , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , New York City/epidemiology , Pandemics , Population Dynamics , Time Factors , Washington/epidemiology
5.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 18(5): e1010146, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1865329

ABSTRACT

We analyze the effectiveness of the first six months of vaccination campaign against SARS-CoV-2 in Italy by using a computational epidemic model which takes into account demographic, mobility, vaccines data, as well as estimates of the introduction and spreading of the more transmissible Alpha variant. We consider six sub-national regions and study the effect of vaccines in terms of number of averted deaths, infections, and reduction in the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) with respect to counterfactual scenarios with the actual non-pharmaceuticals interventions but no vaccine administration. Furthermore, we compare the effectiveness in counterfactual scenarios with different vaccines allocation strategies and vaccination rates. Our results show that, as of 2021/07/05, vaccines averted 29, 350 (IQR: [16, 454-42, 826]) deaths and 4, 256, 332 (IQR: [1, 675, 564-6, 980, 070]) infections and a new pandemic wave in the country. During the same period, they achieved a -22.2% (IQR: [-31.4%; -13.9%]) IFR reduction. We show that a campaign that would have strictly prioritized age groups at higher risk of dying from COVID-19, besides frontline workers and the fragile population, would have implied additional benefits both in terms of avoided fatalities and reduction in the IFR. Strategies targeting the most active age groups would have prevented a higher number of infections but would have been associated with more deaths. Finally, we study the effects of different vaccination intake scenarios by rescaling the number of available doses in the time period under study to those administered in other countries of reference. The modeling framework can be applied to other countries to provide a mechanistic characterization of vaccination campaigns worldwide.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunization Programs , Italy/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
6.
Nat Med ; 28(7): 1468-1475, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1830085

ABSTRACT

Having adopted a dynamic zero-COVID strategy to respond to SARS-CoV-2 variants with higher transmissibility since August 2021, China is now considering whether, and for how long, this policy can remain in place. The debate has thus shifted towards the identification of mitigation strategies for minimizing disruption to the healthcare system in the case of a nationwide epidemic. To this aim, we developed an age-structured stochastic compartmental susceptible-latent-infectious-removed-susceptible model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission calibrated on the initial growth phase for the 2022 Omicron outbreak in Shanghai, to project COVID-19 burden (that is, number of cases, patients requiring hospitalization and intensive care, and deaths) under hypothetical mitigation scenarios. The model also considers age-specific vaccine coverage data, vaccine efficacy against different clinical endpoints, waning of immunity, different antiviral therapies and nonpharmaceutical interventions. We find that the level of immunity induced by the March 2022 vaccination campaign would be insufficient to prevent an Omicron wave that would result in exceeding critical care capacity with a projected intensive care unit peak demand of 15.6 times the existing capacity and causing approximately 1.55 million deaths. However, we also estimate that protecting vulnerable individuals by ensuring accessibility to vaccines and antiviral therapies, and maintaining implementation of nonpharmaceutical interventions could be sufficient to prevent overwhelming the healthcare system, suggesting that these factors should be points of emphasis in future mitigation policies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents , COVID-19/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Humans
7.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 1205-1214, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774288

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection causes most cases of severe illness and fatality in older age groups. Over 92% of the Chinese population aged ≥12 years has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (albeit with vaccines developed against historical lineages). At the end of October 2021, the vaccination programme has been extended to children aged 3-11 years. Here, we aim to assess whether, in this vaccination landscape, the importation of Delta variant infections could shift COVID-19 burden from adults to children. We developed an age-structured susceptible-infectious-removed model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission to simulate epidemics triggered by the importation of Delta variant infections and project the age-specific incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infections, cases, hospitalizations, intensive care unit admissions, and deaths. In the context of the vaccination programme targeting individuals aged ≥12 years, and in the absence of non-pharmaceutical interventions, the importation of Delta variant infections could have led to widespread transmission and substantial disease burden in mainland China, even with vaccination coverage as high as 89% across the eligible age groups. Extending the vaccination roll-out to include children aged 3-11 years (as it was the case since the end of October 2021) is estimated to dramatically decrease the burden of symptomatic infections and hospitalizations within this age group (39% and 68%, respectively, when considering a vaccination coverage of 87%), but would have a low impact on protecting infants. Our findings highlight the importance of including children among the target population and the need to strengthen vaccination efforts by increasing vaccine effectiveness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Child , China/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
8.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-331890

ABSTRACT

After the adoption of a dynamic zero-COVID strategy in China for nearly two years, whether and for how long this policy can remain in place is unclear. The debate has thus shifted towards the identification of mitigation strategies capable to prevent the disruption of the healthcare system, should a nationwide epidemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant start to unfold. To this aim, we developed a mathematical model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission tailored to the unique immunization and epidemiological situation of China. We find that the level of immunity induced by the current vaccination campaign would be insufficient to prevent overwhelming the healthcare system and major losses of human lives. Instead, a synergetic strategy would be needed and based on 1) a heterologous booster vaccination campaign, 2) treating 50% of symptomatic cases with an antiviral with an 80% efficacy in preventing severe outcomes, and 3) the adoption of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) capable of reducing Rt to ≤2. Protecting vulnerable individuals by ensuring accessibility to vaccines and antivirals, and maintaining a certain degree of NPIs should be emphasised in a future mitigation policy, possibly supported by strengthening critical care capacity and the development of highly efficacious vaccines with long-lasting immunity.

9.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(5): 893-896, 2022 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703879

ABSTRACT

We analyzed 221 coronavirus disease 2019 cases identified between June 2020 and January 2021 in 6074 individuals screened for immunoglobulin G antibodies in May 2020, representing 77% of residents of 5 Italian municipalities. The relative risk of developing symptomatic infection in seropositive participants was 0.055 (95% confidence interval, .014-.220).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Reinfection
10.
Euro Surveill ; 27(5)2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700766

ABSTRACT

BackgroundSeveral SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) have emerged through 2020 and 2021. There is need for tools to estimate the relative transmissibility of emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 with respect to circulating strains.AimWe aimed to assess the prevalence of co-circulating VOC in Italy and estimate their relative transmissibility.MethodsWe conducted two genomic surveillance surveys on 18 February and 18 March 2021 across the whole Italian territory covering 3,243 clinical samples and developed a mathematical model that describes the dynamics of co-circulating strains.ResultsThe Alpha variant was already dominant on 18 February in a majority of regions/autonomous provinces (national prevalence: 54%) and almost completely replaced historical lineages by 18 March (dominant across Italy, national prevalence: 86%). We found a substantial proportion of the Gamma variant on 18 February, almost exclusively in central Italy (prevalence: 19%), which remained similar on 18 March. Nationally, the mean relative transmissibility of Alpha ranged at 1.55-1.57 times the level of historical lineages (95% CrI: 1.45-1.66). The relative transmissibility of Gamma varied according to the assumed degree of cross-protection from infection with other lineages and ranged from 1.12 (95% CrI: 1.03-1.23) with complete immune evasion to 1.39 (95% CrI: 1.26-1.56) for complete cross-protection.ConclusionWe assessed the relative advantage of competing viral strains, using a mathematical model assuming different degrees of cross-protection. We found substantial co-circulation of Alpha and Gamma in Italy. Gamma was not able to outcompete Alpha, probably because of its lower transmissibility.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Models, Theoretical
11.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-319211

ABSTRACT

We quantified the probability of developing symptoms (respiratory or fever \geq 37.5 °C) and critical disease (requiring intensive care or resulting in death) of SARS-CoV-2 positive subjects. 5,484 contacts of SARS-CoV-2 index cases detected in Lombardy, Italy were analyzed, and positive subjects were ascertained via nasal swabs and serological assays. 73.9% of all infected individuals aged less than 60 years did not develop symptoms (95% confidence interval: 71.8-75.9%). The risk of symptoms increased with age. 6.6% of infected subjects older than 60 years had critical disease, with males at significantly higher risk.

12.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-319210

ABSTRACT

We analyzed 5,484 close contacts of COVID-19 cases from Italy, all of them tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection. We found an infection fatality ratio of 2.2% (95%CI 1.69-2.81%) and identified male sex, age >70 years, cardiovascular comorbidities, and infection early in the epidemics as risk factors for death.

13.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-311797

ABSTRACT

On March 10, 2020, Italy imposed a national lockdown to curtail the spread of COVID-19. Here we estimate that, fourteen days after the implementation of the strategy, the net reproduction number has dropped below the epidemic threshold - estimated range 0.4-0.7. Our findings provide a timeline of the effectiveness of the implemented lockdown, which is relevant for a large number of countries that followed Italy in enforcing similar measures.

14.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-308578

ABSTRACT

In 2020, countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic implemented various non-pharmaceutical interventions to contrast the spread of the virus and its impact on their healthcare systems and economies. Using Italian data at different geographic scales, we investigate the relationship between human mobility, which subsumes many facets of the population's response to the changing situation, and the spread of COVID-19. Leveraging mobile phone data from February through September 2020, we find a striking relationship between the decrease in mobility flows and the net reproduction number. We find that the time needed to switch off mobility and bring the net reproduction number below the critical threshold of 1 is about one week. Moreover, we observe a strong relationship between the number of days spent above such threshold before the lockdown-induced drop in mobility flows and the total number of infections per 100k inhabitants. Estimating the statistical effect of mobility flows on the net reproduction number over time, we document a 2-week lag positive association, strong in March and April, and weaker but still significant in June. Our study demonstrates the value of big mobility data to monitor the epidemic and inform control interventions during its unfolding.

15.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327217

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern Omicron was first detected in Italy in November 2021. Data from three genomic surveys conducted in Italy between December 2021 and January 2022 suggest that Omicron became dominant in less than one month (prevalence on January 3: 78.6%-83.8%) with a doubling time of 2.7-3.1 days. The mean net reproduction number rose from about 1.15 in absence of Omicron to a peak of 1.83 for symptomatic cases and 1.33 for hospitalized cases, while it remained stable for critical cases.

16.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327114

ABSTRACT

Appropriate isolation guidelines for COVID-19 patients are warranted. Currently, isolating for fixed time is adapted in most countries. However, given the variability in viral dynamics between patients, some patients may no longer be infectious by the end of isolation (thus they are redundantly isolated), whereas others may still be infectious. Utilizing viral test results to determine ending isolation would minimize both the risk of ending isolation of infectious patients and the burden due to redundant isolation of noninfectious patients. In our previous study, we proposed a computational framework using SARS-CoV-2 viral dynamics models to compute the risk and the burden of different isolation guidelines with PCR tests. In this study, we extend the computational framework to design isolation guidelines for COVID-19 patients utilizing rapid antigen tests. Time interval of tests and number of consecutive negative tests to minimize the risk and the burden of isolation were explored. Furthermore, the approach was extended for asymptomatic cases. We found the guideline should be designed considering various factors: the infectiousness threshold values, the detection limit of antigen tests, symptom presence, and an acceptable level of releasing infectious patients. Especially, when detection limit is higher than the infectiousness threshold values, more consecutive negative results are needed to ascertain loss of infectiousness. To control the risk of releasing of infectious individuals under certain levels, rapid antigen tests should be designed to have lower detection limits than infectiousness threshold values to minimize the length of prolonged isolation, and the length of prolonged isolation increases when the detection limit is higher than the infectiousness threshold values, even though the guidelines are optimized for given conditions.

17.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-326550

ABSTRACT

Contact patterns play a key role in the spread of respiratory infectious diseases in human populations. During the COVID-19 pandemic the regular contact patterns of the population has been disrupted due to social distancing both imposed by the authorities and individual choices. Here we present the results of a contact survey conducted in Chinese provinces outside Hubei in March 2020, right after lockdowns were lifted. We then leveraged the estimated mixing patterns to calibrate a model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, which was used to estimate different metrics of COVID-19 burden by age. Study participants reported 2.3 contacts per day (IQR: 1.0-3.0) and the mean per-contact duration was 7.0 hours (IQR: 1.0-10.0). No significant differences were observed between provinces, the number of recorded contacts did not show a clear-cut trend by age, and most of the recorded contacts occurred with family members (about 78%). Our findings suggest that, despite the lockdown was no longer in place at the time of the survey, people were still heavily limiting their contacts as compared to the pre-pandemic situation. Moreover, the obtained modeling results highlight the importance of considering age-contact patterns to estimate COVID-19 burden.

18.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324917

ABSTRACT

Solid estimates describing the clinical course of SARS-CoV-2 infections are still lacking due to under-ascertainment of asymptomatic and mild-disease cases. In this work, we quantify age-specific probabilities of transitions between stages defining the natural history of SARS-CoV-2 infection from 1,965 SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals identified in Italy between March and April 2020 among contacts of confirmed cases. Infected contacts of cases were confirmed via RT-PCR tests as part of contact tracing activities or retrospectively via IgG serological tests and followed-up for symptoms and clinical outcomes. In addition, we provide estimates of time intervals between key events defining the clinical progression of cases as obtained from a larger sample, consisting of 95,371 infections ascertained between February and July 2020. We found that being older than 60 years of age was associated with a 39.9% (95%CI: 36.2-43.6%) likelihood of developing respiratory symptoms or fever >= 37.5 °C after SARS-CoV-2 infection;the 22.3% (95%CI: 19.3-25.6%) of the infections in this age group required hospital care and the 1% (95%CI: 0.4-2.1%) were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). The corresponding proportions in individuals younger than 60 years were estimated at 27.9% (95%CI: 25.4-30.4%), 8.8% (95%CI: 7.3-10.5%) and 0.4% (95%CI: 0.1-0.9%), respectively. The infection fatality ratio (IFR) ranged from 0.2% (95%CI: 0.0-0.6%) in individuals younger than 60 years to 12.3% (95%CI: 6.9-19.7%) for those aged 80 years or more;the case fatality ratio (CFR) in these two age classes was 0.6% (95%CI: 0.1-2%) and 19.2% (95% CI: 10.9-30.1%), respectively. The median length of stay in hospital was 10 (IQR 3-21) days;the length of stay in ICU was 11 (IQR 6-19) days. The obtained estimates could be instrumental to refine mathematical modeling work supporting public health decisions.

19.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324768

ABSTRACT

Strategic prioritization of COVID-19 vaccines is urgently needed, especially in light of the limited supply that is expected to last for most, if not the entire, 2021. Dynamically adapting the allocation strategy to the evolving epidemiological situation could thus be critical during this initial phase of vaccine rollout. We developed a data-driven mechanistic model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission to explore optimal vaccine prioritization strategies in China that aim at reducing COVID-19 burden measured through different metrics. We found that reactively adapting the vaccination program to the epidemiological situation (i.e., allocate vaccine to a target group before reaching full coverage of other groups with initial higher priority) can be highly beneficial as such strategies are capable to simultaneously achieve different objectives (e.g., minimizing the number of deaths and of infections). The highest priority categories are broadly consistent under different hypotheses about vaccine efficacy, differential vaccine efficacy in preventing infection vs. disease, vaccine hesitancy, and SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility. Our findings also suggest that boosting the daily capacities up to 2.5 million courses (0.17% rollout speed) or higher could greatly reduce COVID-19 burden should a new wave start to unfold in China with reproduction number equal to 1.5 or lower. Finally, we estimate that a high vaccine supply in the early phase of the vaccination campaign is key to achieve large gains of strategic prioritizations.

20.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324469

ABSTRACT

All countries are facing decisions about which groups to prioritise for COVID-19 vaccination after the first vaccine product has been licensed, at which time supply shortages are inevitable. Here we define the key target populations and their size in China for a phased introduction of COVID-19 vaccination with evolving goals, accounting for the risk of illness and transmission. Essential workers (47.2 million) like healthcare workers could be prioritized for vaccination to maintain essential services. Subsequently, older adults, individuals with underlying health conditions and pregnant women (616.0 million) could be targeted to reduce severe COVID-19 outcomes. Then it could be further extended to target adults without underlying health conditions and children (738.7 million) to reduce symptomatic infections and/or to stop virus transmission. The proposed framework could assist Chinese policy-makers in the design of a vaccination program, and could be generalized to inform other national and regional COVID-19 vaccination strategies.

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