Allocating epidemic response teams and vaccine deliveries by drone in generic network structures, according to expected prevented exposures.

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Date: Mar. 5, 2021
From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 3)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 11,585 words
Lexile Measure: 1530L

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Abstract :

The tumultuous inception of an epidemic is usually accompanied by difficulty in determining how to respond best. In developing nations, this can be compounded by logistical challenges, such as vaccine shortages and poor road infrastructure. To provide guidance towards improved epidemic response, various resource allocation models, in conjunction with a network-based SEIRVD epidemic model, are proposed in this article. Further, the feasibility of using drones for vaccine delivery is evaluated, and assorted relevant parameters are discussed. For the sake of generality, these results are presented for multiple network structures, representing interconnected populations-upon which repeated epidemic simulations are performed. The resource allocation models formulated maximise expected prevented exposures on each day of a simulated epidemic, by allocating response teams and vaccine deliveries according to the solutions of two respective integer programming problems-thereby influencing the simulated epidemic through the SEIRVD model. These models, when compared with a range of alternative resource allocation strategies, were found to reduce both the number of cases per epidemic, and the number of vaccines required. Consequently, the recommendation is made that such models be used as decision support tools in epidemic response. In the absence thereof, prioritizing locations for vaccinations according to susceptible population, rather than total population or number of infections, is most effective for the majority of network types. In other results, fixed-wing drones are demonstrated to be a viable delivery method for vaccines in the context of an epidemic, if sufficient drones can be promptly procured; the detrimental effect of intervention delay was discovered to be significant. In addition, the importance of well-documented routine vaccination activities is highlighted, due to the benefits of increased pre-epidemic immunity rates, and targeted vaccination.

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Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A653977532