Optimizing age-specific vaccination

26 February 2021 Vol 371, Issue 6532


Policy Forum
Optimizing age-specific vaccination
By Meagan C. Fitzpatrick, Alison P. Galvani
Science26 Feb 2021 : 890-891 Full Access
Vaccination strategies are not one-size-fits-all
Efficacious vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been developed, tested, and approved for emergency use with unprecedented speed. Deployment of multiple vaccines was initiated in several countries less than 1 year after identification of the virus. Although vaccine production is being rapidly scaled up, demand will exceed supply for the next several months. Consequently, an urgent challenge is the optimization of vaccine allocation to maximize public health benefit. On page 916 of this issue, Bubar et al. (1) demonstrate that vaccination of older people is the optimal age-based strategy to alleviate the burden of COVID-19. Although vaccination of younger adults is projected to avert the greatest incidence, vaccinating older adults will most effectively reduce mortality. In addition, they assess targeted vaccination that was based on serological status, finding that vaccinating seronegative individuals improves efficiency especially in settings where seroprevalence is high.