Glenn Webb, Xinyue Evelyn Zhao

An Epidemic Model with Infection Age and Vaccination Age Structure

  • Infectious Diseases

A model of epidemic dynamics is developed that incorporates continuous variables for infection age and vaccination age. The model analyzes pre-symptomatic and symptomatic periods of an infected individual in terms of infection age. This property is shown to be of major importance in the severity of the epidemic, when the infectious period of an infected individual precedes the symptomatic period. The model also analyzes the efficacy of vaccination in terms of vaccination age. The immunity to infection of vaccinated individuals varies with vaccination age and is also of major significance in the severity of the epidemic. Application of the model to the 2003 SARS epidemic in Taiwan and the COVID-19 epidemic in New York provides insights into the dynamics of these diseases. It is shown that the SARS outbreak was effectively contained due to the complete overlap of infectious and symptomatic periods, allowing for the timely isolation of affected individuals. In contrast, the pre-symptomatic spread of COVID-19 in New York led to a rapid, uncontrolled epidemic. These findings underscore the critical importance of the pre-symptomatic infectious period and the vaccination strategies in influencing the dynamics of an epidemic.

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