Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vaccinations should continue as influenza pandemics epidemics wane, experts urge

Date:
October 9, 2010
Source:
Elsevier Health Sciences
Summary:
Influenza pandemics often come in multiple waves. As the one wave subsides, public health officials have to decide whether continuing vaccination programs is warranted to prevent or reduce a subsequent wave. Researchers now report on a new computer model that can be used to predict both subsequent-wave mechanisms and vaccination effectiveness. They conclude that additional waves in an epidemic can be mitigated by vaccination even when an epidemic appears to be waning.

Influenza pandemics often come in multiple waves. As the one wave subsides, public health officials have to decide whether continuing vaccination programs is warranted to prevent or reduce a subsequent wave. In a new study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers report on a new computer model that can be used to predict both subsequent-wave mechanisms and vaccination effectiveness. They conclude that additional waves in an epidemic can be mitigated by vaccination even when an epidemic appears to be waning.

As part of ongoing work with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the H1N1 influenza pandemic, the University of Pittsburgh Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) team employed an agent-based computer simulation model of the Washington, DC metropolitan region to delineate what mechanisms could generate a subsequent (e.g., "third) epidemic wave" and explored whether vaccinating the population at different rates and times would mitigate the wave. This model included explicit representations of the region's individuals, school systems, workplaces/commutes, households, and communities.

"The present study identified potential mechanisms for a multiple-wave influenza epidemic and demonstrated how vaccination can mitigate additional waves, thereby supporting the continuation of a vaccination program even when an epidemic appears to be waning, as in December 2009 -January 2010," commented lead investigator Bruce Y. Lee, MD, MBA, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Graduate School of Public Health. "Although vaccinating a population before an epidemic begins is ideal, public health decision makers should not rule out initiating a vaccination program even though they know that the vaccine will not arrive in time to affect the initial wave of an epidemic. Uncertainties remained for decision making by public health officials on the question of dedicating resources and credibility to the H1N1 vaccination program. However, these simulations do lend support for continuation of the program and to continued public education on the benefits of receiving the vaccine."

Four mechanisms have been identified that could cause a subsequent (e.g., third) epidemic wave: substantially increased viral transmissibility that changes with the seasons; progressive viral adaptation; an immune escape variant; and changes in social mixing from holiday school closures. These mechanisms were modeled using the Washington, DC metropolitan region and 7.4 million "agents" or virtual persons who carried out normal daily behaviors.

The model was calibrated to produce infection rates that mirrored historical outbreaks. Then, by implementing vaccinations, the researchers could examine the conditions where the third wave could be significantly mitigated. Scenarios showed that initiating vaccination earlier, increasing the speed of vaccination, and prioritizing population subgroups based on Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations; all had positive effects on the third wave.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bruce Y. Lee, MD, MBA, Shawn T. Brown, PhD, Philip Cooley, MS, John J. Grefenstette, PhD, Richard K. Zimmerman, MD, MPH, Shanta M. Zimmer, MD, Margaret A. Potter, JD, MS, Roni Rosenfeld, PhD, William D. Wheaton, MA, Ann E. Wiringa, MPH, Kristina M. Bacon, MPH, and Donald S. Burke, MD, PhD. Vaccination Deep Into a Pandemic Wave: Potential Mechanisms for a 'Third Wave' and the Impact of Vaccination. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 39, Issue 5 (November 2010) DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2010.07.014

Cite This Page:

Elsevier Health Sciences. "Vaccinations should continue as influenza pandemics epidemics wane, experts urge." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004211641.htm>.
Elsevier Health Sciences. (2010, October 9). Vaccinations should continue as influenza pandemics epidemics wane, experts urge. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004211641.htm
Elsevier Health Sciences. "Vaccinations should continue as influenza pandemics epidemics wane, experts urge." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004211641.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins