The potential impact of immunization campaign budget re-allocation on global eradication of paediatric infectious diseases.
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However, mathematical modeling is required to understand the potential extent of this effect.We also find that the time to eradication of all three diseases is not necessarily lowest when the least transmissible disease is targeted first.Relatively modest differences in budget allocation strategies in the near-term can result in surprisingly large long-term differences in time required to eradicate, as a result of the amplifying effects of herd immunity and the nonlinearities of disease transmission.
Affiliation: Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Guelph, Canada.
ABSTRACT
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Background: The potential benefits of coordinating infectious disease eradication programs that use campaigns such as supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) should not be over-looked. One example of a coordinated approach is an adaptive "sequential strategy": first, all annual SIA budget is dedicated to the eradication of a single infectious disease; once that disease is eradicated, the annual SIA budget is re-focussed on eradicating a second disease, etc. Herd immunity suggests that a sequential strategy may eradicate several infectious diseases faster than a non-adaptive "simultaneous strategy" of dividing annual budget equally among eradication programs for those diseases. However, mathematical modeling is required to understand the potential extent of this effect. Methods: Our objective was to illustrate how budget allocation strategies can interact with the nonlinear nature of disease transmission to determine time to eradication of several infectious diseases under different budget allocation strategies. Using a mathematical transmission model, we analyzed three hypothetical vaccine-preventable infectious diseases in three different countries. A central decision-maker can distribute funding among SIA programs for these three diseases according to either a sequential strategy or a simultaneous strategy. We explored the time to eradication under these two strategies under a range of scenarios. Results: For a certain range of annual budgets, all three diseases can be eradicated relatively quickly under the sequential strategy, whereas eradication never occurs under the simultaneous strategy. However, moderate changes to total SIA budget, SIA frequency, order of eradication, or funding disruptions can create disproportionately large differences in the time and budget required for eradication under the sequential strategy. We find that the predicted time to eradication can be very sensitive to small differences in the rate of case importation between the countries. We also find that the time to eradication of all three diseases is not necessarily lowest when the least transmissible disease is targeted first. Conclusions: Relatively modest differences in budget allocation strategies in the near-term can result in surprisingly large long-term differences in time required to eradicate, as a result of the amplifying effects of herd immunity and the nonlinearities of disease transmission. More sophisticated versions of such models may be useful to large international donors or other organizations as a planning or portfolio optimization tool, where choices must be made regarding how much funding to dedicate to different infectious disease eradication efforts. Related in: MedlinePlus |
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Mentions: When routine coverage increases over time, the minimum threshold budget under the sequential strategy is only $40 million instead of $170 million. As annualbudget increases beyond this threshold value, the time to eradication of each disease decreases steadily, and for an annual budget of $200 million all diseases are eradicated by 2035 (Figure 8a). By comparison, under the simultaneous strategy, the minimum threshold budget is much larger ($110 million) and the time to eradication decreases only slightly as the annual SIA budget is increased (Figure 8b). The time to eradication remains very different under simultaneous versus sequential strategies under the scenario of rising routine vaccine coverage: for an annual budget of $150, million, Disease A, B, and C are eradicated by 2038, 2041 and 2047 respectively under the sequential strategy, but these events occur much later, at 2059, 2074 and 2083 respectively, under the simultaneous strategy. Hence, even when routine coverage is increasing over time, budget reallocation strategies such as the sequential strategy evaluated here can significantly accelerate eradication of all three infectious diseases compared to a simultaneous strategy. We note that these results do not include the cost of ramping up routine coverage, although accounting for this would not change our qualitative conclusions since the resulting costs would be the same for the sequential and simultaneous strategy, and routine immunization would probably continue after eradication. We also note that exploring whether to allocate funding to improving routine immunization or implementing more SIAs in real-world immunization programs would require a country-specific and disease-specific model. |
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Affiliation: Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Guelph, Canada.
Background: The potential benefits of coordinating infectious disease eradication programs that use campaigns such as supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) should not be over-looked. One example of a coordinated approach is an adaptive "sequential strategy": first, all annual SIA budget is dedicated to the eradication of a single infectious disease; once that disease is eradicated, the annual SIA budget is re-focussed on eradicating a second disease, etc. Herd immunity suggests that a sequential strategy may eradicate several infectious diseases faster than a non-adaptive "simultaneous strategy" of dividing annual budget equally among eradication programs for those diseases. However, mathematical modeling is required to understand the potential extent of this effect.
Methods: Our objective was to illustrate how budget allocation strategies can interact with the nonlinear nature of disease transmission to determine time to eradication of several infectious diseases under different budget allocation strategies. Using a mathematical transmission model, we analyzed three hypothetical vaccine-preventable infectious diseases in three different countries. A central decision-maker can distribute funding among SIA programs for these three diseases according to either a sequential strategy or a simultaneous strategy. We explored the time to eradication under these two strategies under a range of scenarios.
Results: For a certain range of annual budgets, all three diseases can be eradicated relatively quickly under the sequential strategy, whereas eradication never occurs under the simultaneous strategy. However, moderate changes to total SIA budget, SIA frequency, order of eradication, or funding disruptions can create disproportionately large differences in the time and budget required for eradication under the sequential strategy. We find that the predicted time to eradication can be very sensitive to small differences in the rate of case importation between the countries. We also find that the time to eradication of all three diseases is not necessarily lowest when the least transmissible disease is targeted first.
Conclusions: Relatively modest differences in budget allocation strategies in the near-term can result in surprisingly large long-term differences in time required to eradicate, as a result of the amplifying effects of herd immunity and the nonlinearities of disease transmission. More sophisticated versions of such models may be useful to large international donors or other organizations as a planning or portfolio optimization tool, where choices must be made regarding how much funding to dedicate to different infectious disease eradication efforts.