Imperial’s coronavirus outbreak tool has been updated to project the impact of vaccine programmes in all countries.
The tool, developed by the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team in collaboration with AquAffirm, has been updated so healthcare services and policymakers around the world can plan their vaccine programmes under different scenarios.
Inform government policy
Covidsim allows the user to project the prevalence of infections each day and the expected number of people requiring hospitalisation and critical care facilities. The relative benefits of different scenarios can be compared with metrics including health system capacity (maximum number of beds and critical care beds needed compared to those available), the peak of the epidemic, and the total projected deaths. This allows countries to plan for surges in healthcare demand and evaluate different trajectories. The tool is closely aligned with the methodology currently used to inform UK government policy and has been developed in close collaboration with WHO to support countries across Europe which do not have access to modelling support locally.
Vaccine impact projections
Vaccines are clearly going to be critical in ensuring that the most vulnerable in all parts of the world are protected from COVID-19 and that, in tandem, countries can begin to return to a more normal way of life Professor Azra Ghani MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis
With the addition of vaccine impact projections, users can explore the impact of prioritising different target groups and understand the impact of different vaccines, rates of vaccination and supply constraints. Importantly, the tool can be used to evaluate how ongoing social restrictions can be eased as vaccine coverage increases.
The model is calibrated to weekly updates on the number of COVID-19 deaths in each country, compiled by the COVID-19 Data Repository at John Hopkins University. This is combined with local demographic data based on UN World Population projections and estimates of healthcare worker and at-risk populations. In addition, the team is in the process of integrating vaccine roll-out statistics for most countries across the world.
Professor Azra Ghani, of Imperial College London, said “Vaccines are clearly going to be critical in ensuring that the most vulnerable in all parts of the world are protected from COVID-19 and that, in tandem, countries can begin to return to a more normal way of life. By developing a tool that can be used with minimal user-training, we hope that this will enable those involved with planning their local response to understand how to best use the vaccine doses that they have available to protect public health alongside reducing social restrictions.”
Dr David Sarphie, CEO of Bio Nano Consulting, AquAffirm’s consultancy division, said: “With over 50,000 users already, the covidsim platform has proven useful in helping low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and international organisations forge their COVID-19 response policies. With the incorporation of vaccine impact projections in this new version, potential uses of the tool will increase still further, enabling covidsim to benefit even more sectors of society working towards a post-COVID world.”
The tool was developed by Imperial’s MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, Jameel Institute (J-IDEA) with Bio Nano Consulting (BNC, a member of the AquAffirm Group) and was funded by The Wellcome Trust. the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the UK Medical Research Council.
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