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On the Management of Population Immunity

A new working paper by network member Flavio Toxvaerd, together with Robert Rowthorn considers a SIR model of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19 or swine flu, in which costly treatment or vaccination confers immunity on recovered individuals. Once immune, individuals indirectly protect the remaining susceptibles, who benefit from a measure of herd immunity. Treatment and vaccination are shown to have radically different effects and desirability at different stages of the epidemic.

Equilibrium vaccination is qualitatively similar to socially optimal vaccination, while equilibrium treatment differs in nature from socially optimal treatment.

The optimal policies are compared to traditional non-economic public health interventions which rely on herd immunity thresholds.

Read the whole paper here.


Posted by Maria Perrotta Berlin