Population dynamics of live-attenuated virus vaccines
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Viruses contained in live-attenuated virus vaccines (LAVV) can be transmitted between individuals, resulting in secondary or contact vaccinations. This fact has been exploited successfully in the use of the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) to better control wild-type polio viruses. In this work we analyze general LAVV vaccination models for infections that confer lifelong immunity. We consider both standard (continuous) vaccination strategies and pulse vaccination programs (where mass vaccination is carried out at regular intervals). For continuous vaccination, we provide a complete global analysis of a very general compartmental ordinary differential equation LAVV model. We find that the threshold vaccination level required for the eradication of wild-type virus depends on the basic reproduction numbers of both the wild-type and vaccine viruses, but is otherwise independent of the distributions of the durations in each of the sequence of stages of disease progression (e.g., latent, infectious, etc.). Furthermore, even for vaccine viruses with reproduction numbers below one, which would naturally fade from the population upon cessation of vaccination, there can be a significant reduction in the threshold vaccination level. The dependence of the threshold vaccination level on the virus reproduction numbers largely generalizes to the pulse vaccination model. For shorter pulsing periods there is negligible difference in threshold vaccination level as compared to continuous vaccination campaigns. Thus, we conclude that current policy in many countries to employ annual pulsed OPV vaccination does not significantly diminish the benefits of contact vaccination.
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