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medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.03.08.22271905


Background: SARS-CoV-2 vaccination of persons aged 12 years and older has reduced disease burden in the United States. The COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Hub convened multiple modeling teams in September 2021 to project the impact of expanding vaccine administration to children 5-11 years old on anticipated COVID-19 burden and resilience against variant strains. Methods: Nine modeling teams contributed state- and national-level projections for weekly counts of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States for the period September 12, 2021 to March 12, 2022. Four scenarios covered all combinations of: 1) presence vs. absence of vaccination of children ages 5-11 years starting on November 1, 2021; and 2) continued dominance of the Delta variant vs. emergence of a hypothetical more transmissible variant on November 15, 2021. Individual team projections were combined using linear pooling. The effect of childhood vaccination on overall and age-specific outcomes was estimated by meta-analysis approaches. Findings: Absent a new variant, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths among all ages were projected to decrease nationally through mid-March 2022. Under a set of specific assumptions, models projected that vaccination of children 5-11 years old was associated with reductions in all-age cumulative cases (7.2%, mean incidence ratio [IR] 0.928, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.880-0.977), hospitalizations (8.7%, mean IR 0.913, 95% CI 0.834-0.992), and deaths (9.2%, mean IR 0.908, 95% CI 0.797-1.020) compared with scenarios where children were not vaccinated. This projected effect of vaccinating children 5-11 years old increased in the presence of a more transmissible variant, assuming no change in vaccine effectiveness by variant. Larger relative reductions in cumulative cases, hospitalizations, and deaths were observed for children than for the entire U.S. population. Substantial state-level variation was projected in epidemic trajectories, vaccine benefits, and variant impacts. Conclusions: Results from this multi-model aggregation study suggest that, under a specific set of scenario assumptions, expanding vaccination to children 5-11 years old would provide measurable direct benefits to this age group and indirect benefits to the all-age U.S. population, including resilience to more transmissible variants.

medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.08.28.21262748


What is already known about this topic?The highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant has begun to cause increases in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in parts of the United States. With slowed vaccination uptake, this novel variant is expected to increase the risk of pandemic resurgence in the US in July--December 2021. What is added by this report?Data from nine mechanistic models project substantial resurgences of COVID-19 across the US resulting from the more transmissible Delta variant. These resurgences, which have now been observed in most states, were projected to occur across most of the US, coinciding with school and business reopening. Reaching higher vaccine coverage in July--December 2021 reduces the size and duration of the projected resurgence substantially. The expected impact of the outbreak is largely concentrated in a subset of states with lower vaccination coverage. What are the implications for public health practice?Renewed efforts to increase vaccination uptake are critical to limiting transmission and disease, particularly in states with lower current vaccination coverage. Reaching higher vaccination goals in the coming months can potentially avert 1.5 million cases and 21,000 deaths and improve the ability to safely resume social contacts, and educational and business activities. Continued or renewed non-pharmaceutical interventions, including masking, can also help limit transmission, particularly as schools and businesses reopen.

Death , COVID-19
medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.11.03.20225409


Policymakers make decisions about COVID-19 management in the face of considerable uncertainty. We convened multiple modeling teams to evaluate reopening strategies for a mid-sized county in the United States, in a novel process designed to fully express scientific uncertainty while reducing linguistic uncertainty and cognitive biases. For the scenarios considered, the consensus from 17 distinct models was that a second outbreak will occur within 6 months of reopening, unless schools and non-essential workplaces remain closed. Up to half the population could be infected with full workplace reopening; non-essential business closures reduced median cumulative infections by 82%. Intermediate reopening interventions identified no win-win situations; there was a trade-off between public health outcomes and duration of workplace closures. Aggregate results captured twice the uncertainty of individual models, providing a more complete expression of risk for decision-making purposes.

Cognition Disorders , COVID-19