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Estimated transmissibility and impact of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 in England.

Abstract

A novel SARS-CoV-2 variant, VOC 202012/01 (lineage B.1.1.7), emerged in southeast England in November 2020 and is rapidly spreading toward fixation. Using a variety of statistical and dynamic modelling approaches, we estimate that this variant has a 43-90% (range of 95% credible intervals 38-130%) higher reproduction number than preexisting variants. A fitted two-strain dynamic transmission model shows that VOC 202012/01 will lead to large resurgences of COVID-19 cases. Without stringent control measures, including limited closure of educational institutions and a greatly accelerated vaccine roll-out, COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths across England in 2021 will exceed those in 2020. Concerningly, VOC 202012/01 has spread globally and exhibits a similar transmission increase (59-74%) in Denmark, Switzerland, and the United States.

MIDAS Network Members

John Edmunds

Professor of Infectious Disease Modelling
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Katherine Atkins

Associate Professor / Chancellor’s Fellow
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Mark Jit

Professor of Vaccine Epidemiology
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

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