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Quantifying Early COVID-19 Outbreak Transmission in South Africa and Exploring Vaccine Efficacy Scenarios
20 Pages Posted: 5 May 2020More...
Background: COVID-19 has emerged and spread at great speed globally and has presented one of the greatest public health challenges in modern times with no proven cure or vaccine. Africa is still early in this epidemic, therefore the spectrum of disease severity is not yet clear.
Methods: We used a mathematical model to fit to the observed cases of COVID-19 in South Africa to estimate the basic reproductive number and critical vaccination coverages to control the disease for different hypothetical vaccine efficacy scenarios. We also estimated the percentage reduction in effective contacts due to the social distancing measures implemented.
Results: Early model estimates show that COVID-19 outbreak in South Africa had a basic reproductive number of 2.95(95% credible interval [CrI] 2.83-3.33). A vaccine with 70% efficacy had the capacity to contain COVID-19 outbreak but at very higher vaccination coverage 94.44% (95% Crl 92.44-99.92%) with a vaccine of 100% efficacy requiring 66.10% (95% Crl 64.72-69.95%) coverage. Social distancing measures put in place have so far reduced the number of social contacts by 80.31% (95% Crl 79.76-80.85%).
Conclusions: Findings suggest a highly efficacious vaccine would have been required to contain COVID-19 in South Africa. Therefore, the current social distancing measures to reduce contacts will remain key in controlling the infection in the absence of vaccines and other therapeutics.
Funding Statement: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Declaration of Interests: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Ethics Approval Statement: The authors stated that ethics approval was not required for this study.
Keywords: COVID-19; mathematical model; basic reproductive number; vaccination; South Africa
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation