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Risk assessment of COVID-19 epidemic resurgence in relation to SARS-CoV-2 variants and vaccination passes

The introduction of COVID-19 vaccination passes (VPs) by many countries coincided with the Delta variant fast becoming dominant across Europe. A thorough assessment of their impact on epidemic dynamics is still lacking. Here, we propose the VAP-SIRS model that considers possibly lower restrictions for the VP holders than for the rest of the population, imperfect vaccination effectiveness against infection, rates of (re-)vaccination and waning immunity, fraction of never-vaccinated, and the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant.

Some predicted epidemic scenarios for realistic parameter values yield new COVID-19 infection waves within two years, and high daily case numbers in the endemic state, even without introducing VPs and granting more freedom to their holders. Still, suitable adaptive policies can avoid unfavorable outcomes. While VP holders could initially be allowed more freedom, the lack of full vaccine effectiveness and increased transmissibility will require accelerated (re-)vaccination, wide-spread immunity surveillance, and/or minimal long-term common restrictions.

T. Krueger, K. Gogolewski, M. Bodych, A. Gambin, G. Giordano, S. Cuschieri, T. Czypionka, M. Perc, E. Petelos, M. Rosinska, E. Szczurek, Risk assessment of COVID-19 epidemic resurgence in relation to SARS-CoV-2 variants and vaccination passes, Communications Medicine 2 (2022) 23.

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