Projects per year
Infectious diseases are still a major global burden for modern society causing 13 million deaths annually. One way to reduce the morbidity and mortality rates from infectious diseases is through pre-emptive or targeted vaccinations. Current theoretical vaccination strategies based on contact networks, however, rely on highly specific individual contact information which is difficult and costly to obtain, in order to identify influential spreading individuals. Current approaches also focus only on direct contacts between individuals for spreading, and disregard indirect transmission where a pathogen can spread between one infected individual and one susceptible individual who visit the same location within a short time-frame without meeting. This paper presents a novel vaccination strategy which relies on coarse-grained contact information, both direct and indirect, that can be easily and efficiently collected. Rather than tracking exact contact degrees of individuals, our strategy uses the types of places people visit to estimate a range of contact degrees for individuals, considering both direct and indirect contacts. We conduct extensive computer simulations to evaluate the performance of our strategy in comparison to state-of-the-art vaccination strategies. Results show that, when considering indirect links, our lower cost vaccination strategy achieves comparable performance to the contact-degree based approach and outperforms other existing strategies without requiring over-detailed information.