The swift development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines has been met with worldwide commendation. However, in the context of an ongoing pandemic there is an interplay between infection and vaccination. While infection can grow exponentially, vaccination rates are generally limited by supply and logistics. With the first SARS-CoV-2 vaccines receiving medical approval requiring two doses, there has been scrutiny on the spacing between doses; an elongated period between doses allows more of the population to receive a first vaccine dose in the short-term generating wide-spread partial immunity. Focusing on data from England, we investigated prioritization of a one dose or two dose vaccination schedule given a fixed number of vaccine doses and with respect to a measure of maximizing averted deaths. We optimized outcomes for two different estimates of population size and relative risk of mortality for at-risk groups within the Phase 1 vaccine priority order. Vaccines offering relatively high protection from the first dose favour strategies that prioritize giving more people one dose, although with increasing vaccine supply eventually those eligible and accepting vaccination will receive two doses. While optimal dose timing can substantially reduce the overall mortality risk, there needs to be careful consideration of the logistics of vaccine delivery.
Fuente: Journal of the Royal Society Interface