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Jacob Lee 1 Article
Risk of COVID-19 transmission in heterogeneous age groups and effective vaccination strategy in Korea: a mathematical modeling study
Youngsuk Ko, Jacob Lee, Yubin Seo, Eunok Jung
Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021059.   Published online September 8, 2021
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
This study aims to analyze the possibility and conditions of maintaining an effective reproductive number below 1 using a mathematical model.
The total population was divided into five age groups (0-17, 18-29, 30-59, 60-74, and ≥75 years). Maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) was used to estimate the transmission rate of each age group. Mathematical model simulation was conducted until December 31, 2021, by establishing various strategies for vaccination and social distancing without considering variants.
MLE results revealed that the group aged 0-17 years had a lower risk of transmission than other age groups, and the older age group had relatively high risks of infection. If 70% of the population will be vaccinated by the end of 2021, then simulations showed that even if social distancing was eased, the effective reproductive number would remain below 1 near August if it was not at the level of the third re-spreading period. However, if social distancing was eased and it reached the level of the re-spreading period, the effective reproductive number could be below 1 at the end of 2021.
Considering both stable and worsened situations, simulation results emphasized that sufficient vaccine supply and control of the epidemic by maintaining social distancing to prevent an outbreak at the level of the re-spreading period are necessary to minimize mortality and maintain the effective reproductive number below 1.
Korean summary
본 연구에서는 질병관리청에서 제공하는 개별 확진자 데이터에 확률통계적 방법을 적용하여 연령군 간의 감염전파 행렬을 추정하였으며 연령군을 고려한 수리모델에 적용되었다. 본 연구에서 우리는 2020년 10월부터 2021년 5월까지 한국에서의 코로나19 유행상황을 정책 구간에 따라 분석하였으며 이를 토대로 거리두기 완화 수준에 따라 거리두기 완화 상태에서도 지속적으로 유효감염재생산지수가 1보다 작아지는 시점이 달라질 수 있음을 보인다.
Key Message
In this research, we estimated age-group-specified transmission rate matrix by applying maximum likelihood estimation into individual based data which was provided by Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. Our model simulation showed the moment, when the effective reproductive number is consistently below 1 even the distancing is eased, is ranged from August to the end of 2021 depending on the intensity of the social distancing during eased phase.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
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