Waning Immunity and the Second Wave: Some Projections for SARS-CoV-2
Wednesday 1st September 2021
American Economic Review: Insights
Giannitsarou, C., Kissler, S. and Toxvaerd, F.M.O.
This paper offers projections of future transmission dynamics for SARSCoV-2 in an SEIRS model with demographics and waning immunity. In a stylized optimal control setting calibrated to the USA, we show that the disease is endemic in steady state and that its dynamics are characterized by damped oscillations. The magnitude of the oscillations depends on how fast immunity wanes. The optimal social distancing policy both curbs peak prevalence and postpones the infection waves relative to the uncontrolled dynamics. Last, we perform sensitivity analysis with respect to the duration of immunity, the infection fatality rate and the planning horizon.