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Optimal vaccination policy and cost analysis for epidemic control in resource-limited settings

Kuan Yang (School of Business Administration, Hunan University, Changsha, China)
Ermei Wang (School of Business Administration, Hunan University, Changsha, China)
Yinggao Zhou (School of Mathematics and Statistics, Central South University, Changsha, China)
Kai Zhou (School of Mathematics and Statistics, Central South University, Changsha, China)

Kybernetes

ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 2 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to use analytical method and optimization tools to suggest time-optimal vaccination program for a basic SIR epidemic model with mass action contact rate when supply is limited.

Design/methodology/approach

The Lagrange Multiplier Method and Pontryagin’s Maximum Principle are used to explore optimal control strategy and obtain analytical solution for the control system to minimize the total cost of disease with boundary constraint. The numerical simulation is done with Matlab using the sequential linear programming method to illustrate the impact of parameters.

Findings

The result highlighted that the optimal control strategy is Bang-Bang control – to vaccinate with maximal effort until either all of the resources are used up or epidemic is over, and the optimal strategies and total cost of vaccination are usually dependent on whether there is any constraint of resource, however, the optimal strategy is independent on the relative cost of vaccination when the supply is limited.

Practical implications

The research indicate a practical view that the enhancement of daily vaccination rate is critical to make effective initiatives to prevent epidemic from out breaking and reduce the costs of control.

Originality/value

The analysis of the time-optimal application of outbreak control is of clear practical value and the introducing of resource constraint in epidemic control is of realistic sense, these are beneficial for epidemiologists and public health officials.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to the handling editor and reviewers for their kind comments to our previous manuscript, which were most helpful in its improvement. This research was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71272209), and Humanity and Social Science Foundation of Ministry of Education of China (No. 12YJA630170) and the Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province (No. 12JJ3081).

Citation

Yang, K., Wang, E., Zhou, Y. and Zhou, K. (2015), "Optimal vaccination policy and cost analysis for epidemic control in resource-limited settings", Kybernetes, Vol. 44 No. 3, pp. 475-486. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-05-2014-0103

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited