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Modeling strategies for the allocation of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in the United States.

Abstract

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended phased allocation of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in December 2020. To support the development of this guidance, we used a mathematical model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission to evaluate the relative impact of three vaccine allocation strategies on infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. All three strategies initially prioritized healthcare personnel (HCP) for vaccination. Strategies of subsequently prioritizing adults aged ≥65 years, or a combination of essential workers and adults aged ≥75 years, prevented the most deaths. Meanwhile, prioritizing adults with high-risk medical conditions immediately after HCP prevented the most infections. All three strategies prevented a similar fraction of hospitalizations. While no model is capable of fully capturing the complex social dynamics which shape epidemics, exercises such as this one can be a useful way for policy makers to formalize their assumptions and explore the key features of a problem before making decisions.

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