The COVID-19 simulation shows the importance of safety efforts during vaccine distribution

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Graph of the simulation results. Credit: UNC School of Medicine

Research published by JAMA network open shows how non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) such as mask use and physical distancing can help prevent spikes in COVID-19 cases as populations continue to be vaccinated. The study, led by Mehul Patel, Ph.D., a clinical and population health researcher in the Department of Emergency Medicine at UNC School of Medicine, focuses on the state of North Carolina. Similar modeling studies have been used in different states and can serve as guidance to leaders as they make decisions to relax security restrictions and protocols.

“Computer simulation modeling allows us to examine multiple factors that play a role in decreasing the spread of COVID-19 as vaccines are distributed,” Patel said. “We examined the effectiveness of the vaccine, the percentage of the vaccinated population, and adherence to precautions such as the use of masks and physical distancing over a given period of time.”

The top image of the simulation is a multi-scenario model in the state of North Carolina. Knowing that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are more than 90% effective in preventing severe COVID-19, you can follow the black, purple, and blue lines to see what can happen if non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) occur such as the use of masks and physical distancing. it is not followed while vaccinating in communities. In addition, the simulation also demonstrates the importance of full vaccination of as many people as possible.

For example, looking at scenario A1, if 75% of our population is fully vaccinated and we continue to adhere to NPIs, we see a sustained decline to very few new cases of COVID in a six-month period. In contrast, looking at the C0 scenario, if only 25% of our population is fully vaccinated and does not adhere to NPIs, we could see a sustained increase in daily cases of COVID, which would reach a maximum of about 8,000 before to see another decline. As a reference, as of June 1, 2021, 38.9% of the entire population of North Carolina has been completely vaccinated.

“As soon as you start relaxing with the putting on of the mask and physical distancing with any percentage of the vaccinated population, you see an increase in cases,” Patel said. “Until we get to about 50% of the vaccinated, there is a greater chance of the disease spreading if we eliminate NPIs. ”


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More information:
Patel MD et al. Association of simulated COVID-19 vaccines and non-pharmaceutical interventions with infections, hospitalizations and mortality. JAMA network open, (2021). DOI: 10.1001 / jamanetworkopen.2021.10782

Citation: COVID-19 Simulation Shows Importance of Security Efforts During Vaccine Distribution (2021, June 2) Retrieved June 2, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-covid-simulation -importance-safety-efforts.html

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