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Br Med Bull. 2002;62:187-99.

Mathematical models of vaccination.

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Zoology Department, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.


Mathematical models of epidemics have a long history of contributing to the understanding of the impact of vaccination programmes. Simple, one-line models can predict target vaccination coverage that will eradicate an infectious agent, whilst other questions require complex simulations of stochastic processes in space and time. This review introduces some simple ordinary differential equation models of mass vaccination that can be used to address important questions about the predicted impact of vaccination programmes. We show how to calculate the threshold vaccination coverage rate that will eradicate an infection, explore the impact of vaccine-induced immunity that wanes through time, and study the competitive interactions between vaccine susceptible and vaccine resistant strains of infectious agent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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