New Model helps decide who should get the COVID-19 vaccine first

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Researchers at UW claim that the COVID-19 vaccine should be administered to people 60 and older should it be ready by January 2021. 

According to research conducted by the University of Waterloo, the vaccine should be administered to older citizens as they have the highest risk of contracting COVID-19. The priority group in the model changes depending on when the vaccine will be ready for distribution.

Bauch’s research indicates that the vaccine should go to people who are most likely to transmit the virus to others. 

“Our results say that, in terms of reducing deaths the most, vaccinating 60+ makes more sense early in the pandemic, but vaccinating those who transmit the infection makes more sense later in the pandemic” Chris Bauch, co-author of the study and a professor in UW’s department of Applied Mathematics, said

The research conducted on the model has not been peer-reviewed and is to be released shortly to help inform Canada’s COVID-19 response. Bauch predicts the possibility of supply issues when the vaccination is ready to be distributed and therefore believes that policymakers will have to prioritize which age groups will receive the vaccination first.

The researchers also used the model to look at the particular case where people do not change their mask-wearing or social distancing behaviour over time. In that case, they found that the strategies designed to interrupt transmission work better. 

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