PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
(Accessed 23 Nov 2019)
Vaccination strategies to control Ebola epidemics in the context of variable household inaccessibility levels
Gerardo Chowell, Amna Tariq, Maria Kiskowski
Research Article | published 21 Nov 2019 PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
In the context of the ongoing Ebola epidemic in DRC, active conflict and community distrust are undermining control efforts, including vaccination strategies. In this paper, we employed an individual-level stochastic structured transmission model to assess the impact of vaccination strategies on epidemic control in the context of variable levels of household inaccessibility. We found that a ring vaccination strategy of close contacts would not be effective for containing the epidemic in the context of significant delays to vaccinating contacts even for low levels of household inaccessibility and evaluate the impact of a supplemental community vaccination strategy. For lower levels of inaccessibility, the probability of epidemic containment increases over time. For higher levels of inaccessibility, even the combined ring and community vaccination strategies are not expected to contain the epidemic even though they help lower incidence levels, which saves lives, makes the epidemic easier to contain and reduces spread to other communities. We found that ring vaccination is effective for containing an outbreak until the levels of inaccessibility exceeds approximately 10%, a combined ring and community vaccination strategy is effective until the levels of inaccessibility exceeds approximately 50%. Our findings underscore the need to enhance community engagement to public health interventions.