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Article

Projecting the Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Variants and the Vaccination Program on the Fourth Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in South Korea

Department of Mathematics, Soongsil University, Seoul 06978, Korea
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7578; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147578
Received: 27 May 2021 / Revised: 13 July 2021 / Accepted: 14 July 2021 / Published: 16 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Modeling in Biology and Medicine)
Vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are currently administered in South Korea; however, vaccine supply is limited. Considering constraints in vaccine supply and the emergence of variant strains, we evaluated the impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program in reducing incidence, ICU hospitalization, and deaths in South Korea. We developed an age-structured model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission parameterized with Korean demographics and age-specific COVID-19 outcomes. Using our model, we analyzed the impact of the COVID-19 vaccination program during the fourth wave of the pandemic in South Korea in reducing disease burden. We projected that the vaccination program can reduce the overall attack rate to 3.9% from 6.9% without vaccination, over 150 days, starting from 5 July 2021. The highest relative reduction (50%) was observed among individuals aged 50–59 years. Vaccination markedly reduced adverse outcomes, such as ICU hospitalizations and deaths, decreasing them by 45% and 43%, respectively. In the presence of the Delta variant, vaccination is expected to reduce the overall attack rate to 11.9% from 26.9%. Our results indicate that the impact of vaccination can be substantially affected by the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants. Furthermore, herd immunity is unlikely to be achieved with the potential emergence of the Delta variant, inconsistent with the blueprint of the South Korean government. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; vaccine; Korea; vaccine allocation strategy; herd immunity; mathematical model COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; vaccine; Korea; vaccine allocation strategy; herd immunity; mathematical model
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MDPI and ACS Style

Shim, E. Projecting the Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Variants and the Vaccination Program on the Fourth Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in South Korea. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 7578. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147578

AMA Style

Shim E. Projecting the Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Variants and the Vaccination Program on the Fourth Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in South Korea. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(14):7578. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147578

Chicago/Turabian Style

Shim, Eunha. 2021. "Projecting the Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Variants and the Vaccination Program on the Fourth Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in South Korea" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 14: 7578. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147578

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