COVID-19 Policy Options

In collaboration with colleagues at the University of Melbourne’s Transport Health and Urban Design Research Lab (THUD), we developed an agent-based model for quantifying the impact of policy options like elimination, suppression and mask-wearing. This model was successfully used to underpin the Victorian Government’s Roadmap out of lockdown in 2020.

SHINE then linked the agent-based model (as a ‘special’ example of an intervention model) to our PMSLT model to estimate the health gains and costs (including GDP costs) of various policy response options, including:

  • For elimination and suppression strategies in Victoria in 2020 as published in JAMA Health Forum
  • For varying speeds of vaccine program roll out in Pakistan and Armenia for the Asia Development Bank.

COVID-19 Pandemic Tradeoffs is the ongoing platform of modelling.  100s of scenarios are modelled of how infection rates, hospitalisation and death rate, and – critically – time in lockdown vary by policy scenarios (vaccination coverage, border policies impacting the number of vaccinated but infected arrivals per day, and in-country suppression policies). The latest iteration of this modelling is summarized in a the 2022 Will Be Better report.

We initiated the Australian COVID-19 Modelling Initiative that showcases outputs from many COVID-19 modelling groups in Australia.

As 2022 approaches, modelling of COVID-19 policy options continues to be important.  Our Pandemic Tradeoffs modelling is ideally suited to examining:

  • Optimal booster programs
  • Optimal border policies
  • Optimal use of innovations such as mass rapid antigen testing.