Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 35193893
Link to DOI – e00723610.1136/bmjgh-2021-007236
BMJ Glob Health 2022 02; 7(2):
When vaccines against the novel COVID-19 were available in Senegal, many questions were raised. How long should non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) be maintained during vaccination roll-out? What are the best vaccination strategies?In this study, we used an age-structured dynamic mathematical model. This model uses parameters based on SARS-CoV-2 virus, information on different types of NPIs, epidemiological and demographic data, some parameters relating to hospitalisations and vaccination in Senegal.In all scenarios explored, the model predicts a larger third epidemic wave of COVID-19 in terms of new cases and deaths than the previous waves. In a context of limited vaccine supply, vaccination alone will not be sufficient to control the epidemic, and the continuation of NPIs is necessary to flatten the epidemic curve. Assuming 20% of the population have been vaccinated, the optimal period to relax NPIs would be a few days from the last peak. Regarding the prioritisation of age groups to be vaccinated, the model shows that it is better to vaccinate individuals aged 5-60 years and not just the elderly (over 60 years) and those in high-risk groups. This strategy could be more cost-effective for the government, as it would reduce the high costs associated with hospitalisation. In terms of vaccine distribution, the optimal strategy would be to allocate full dose to the elderly. If vaccine doses are limited, half dose followed by full dose would be sufficient for people under 40 years because whether they receive half or full dose, the reduction in hospitalisations would be similar and their death-to-case ratio is very low.This study could be presented as a decision support tool to help devise strategies to control the COVID-19 pandemic and help the Ministry of Health to better manage and allocate the available vaccine doses.