MIDAS Webinar: Dr. Donal Bisanzio

The MIDAS Webinar Series features research by MIDAS members, and is open to the public. 

Date: Friday, December 16th, 2022
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm Eastern Standard Time (USA)

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Topic: Since March 2020, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has launched several digital applications to support the intervention response to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2. At the beginning of 2021, the KSA Government introduced a mandatory immunity passport to regulate access to public venues. The passport was part of the strategy of resuming public activities before reaching high vaccination coverage. The passport was implemented as a new service in the Tawakkalna mobile phone application (App). The immunity passport allowed access to public locations only for the users who recovered from COVID-19 or those who were double vaccinated. Our study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the immunity passport, implemented through the Tawakkalna App, on SARS-CoV-2 spread. We built a spatial-explicit individual-based model to represent the whole KSA population (IBM-KSA) and its dynamic. The IBM-KSA was parameterized using country demographic, remote sensing, and epidemiological data. The model included non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccination coverage. A social network was created to represent contact heterogeneity and interaction among age groups of the population. The IBM-KSA also simulated the movement of people across the country based on a gravity model. We used the IBM-KSA to evaluate the effect of the immunity passport on the COVID-19 epidemic’s outcomes. The IBM-KSA results showed that implementing the immunity passport through the Tawakkalna App mitigated the SARS-CoV2 spread.

Speaker: Dr. Donal Bisanzio, RTI International



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