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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Sep 2;100(18):10564-7. Epub 2003 Aug 14.

Group interest versus self-interest in smallpox vaccination policy.

Author information

1
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4K1. cbauch@uoguelph.ca

Abstract

The recent threat of bioterrorism has fueled debate on smallpox vaccination policy for the United States. Certain policy proposals call for voluntary mass vaccination; however, if individuals decide whether to vaccinate according to self-interest, the level of herd immunity achieved may differ from what is best for the population as a whole. We present a synthesis of game theory and epidemic modeling that formalizes this conflict between self-interest and group interest and shows that voluntary vaccination is unlikely to reach the group-optimal level. This shortfall results in a substantial increase in expected mortality after an attack.

PMID:
12920181
PMCID:
PMC193525
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1731324100
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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