Epidemiology & Infection, May 16, 2019

Eduardo Massad, Francisco Antonio Bezerra Coutinho and Annelies Wilder-Smith


We present a model to optimise a vaccination campaign aiming to prevent or to curb a Zika virus outbreak. We show that the optimum vaccination strategy to reduce the number of cases by a mass vaccination campaign should start when the Aedes mosquitoes' density reaches the threshold of 1.5 mosquitoes per humans, the moment the reproduction number crosses one. The maximum time it is advisable to wait for the introduction of a vaccination campaign is when the first ZIKV case is identified, although this would not be as effective to minimise the number of infections as when the mosquitoes' density crosses the critical threshold. This suboptimum strategy, however, would still curb the outbreak. In both cases, the catch up strategy should aim to vaccinate at least 25% of the target population during a concentrated effort of 1 month immediately after identifying the threshold. This is the time taken to accumulate the herd immunity threshold of 56.5%. These calculations were done based on theoretical assumptions that vaccine implementation would be feasible within a very short time frame.

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