A Net Benefit Approach for the Optimal Allocation of a COVID-19 Vaccine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The objective of this study was to implement a model-based approach to identify the optimal allocation of a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine in the province of Alberta, Canada. Methods: We developed an epidemiologic model to evaluate allocation strategies defined by age and risk target groups, coverage, effectiveness and cost of vaccine. The model simulated hypothetical immunisation scenarios within a dynamic context, capturing concurrent public health strategies and population behavioural changes. Results: In a scenario with 80% vaccine effectiveness, 40% population coverage and prioritisation of those over the age of 60 years at high risk of poor outcomes, active cases are reduced by 17% and net monetary benefit increased by $263 million dollars, relative to no vaccine. Concurrent implementation of policies such as school closure and senior contact reductions have similar impacts on incremental net monetary benefit ($352 vs $292 million, respectively) when there is no prioritisation given to any age or risk group. When older age groups are given priority, the relative benefit of school closures is much larger ($214 vs $118 million). Results demonstrate that the rank ordering of different prioritisation options varies by prioritisation criteria, vaccine effectiveness and coverage, and concurrently implemented policies. Conclusions: Our results have three implications: (i) optimal vaccine allocation will depend on the public health policies in place at the time of allocation and the impact of those policies on population behaviour; (ii) outcomes of vaccine allocation policies can be greatly supported with interventions targeting contact reduction in critical sub-populations; and (iii) identification of the optimal strategy depends on which outcomes are prioritised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1059-1073
Number of pages15
Issue number9
Early online date17 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'A Net Benefit Approach for the Optimal Allocation of a COVID-19 Vaccine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this