Talk: Modeling pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions to control epidemics

Speaker: Abbas K. Rizi (Faculty of Computer Science, Aalto University)

Abstract: Inclusive vaccination is one of the most important drug interventions to combat the epidemic. Classical epidemiological models predict the existence of a threshold for the rate of community vaccination to achieve collective safety. Attempting to vaccinate 70% of the population is an example of using the predictions of such models. However, data from some epidemics, particularly the COVID-19 universe, have shown the opposite. Why has it become a challenge to reach the threshold of collective immunity even with the most effective vaccines in creating collective immunity and preventing the transmission of disease ?! In the first part of this lecture, we will get the collective safety threshold and the extent of the epidemic by considering the topology of the network of contact and transmission of the disease, the distribution of the vaccine, the correlation between the vaccinated people and the effectiveness of vaccines in safety and prevention. We will show that even with the best vaccines, the extent of the epidemic is a uniform function of the level of homophily in the behavior of people being vaccinated, and because of the presence of homophily, achieving collective safety can be quite impossible. In the second part of this presentation, by introducing a non-pharmacological intervention called “contact interception” as an effective and low-cost method in controlling the spread of diseases, we will discuss the effectiveness of this intervention on an epidemic.

This talk will be held on May 8th at 10:30 A.M IRST.

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Slides: Google Doc

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