SYDNEY, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- To deal with the issue of limited supplies when a COVID-19 vaccine initially becomes available, Australian researchers have developed a strategy of first targeting potential superspreaders, in order to provide the most effective outbreak protection.
According to the report released Friday, by analyzing people's movement and putting them into six separate "classes" based on the type of locations they visited, authorities can protect the highest number of people from potential infection.
"Our research shows that to be effective, it's not about who exactly a superspreader has been in contact with... but where they've been that should be the focus of vaccination," Prof. Bernard Mans from Macquarie University said.
For example, Class 1 is someone who spent most of their time at home, possibly visiting local shops and having contact with less than five people, while a person in Class 2 would have also gone to a coffee shop or a bus stop, putting them in potential indirect contact with up to 15 people.
A Class 3 person would be someone who goes to work in an office, uses public transport or visits a public park or a swimming pool, in contact with up to 25 people.
At the top of the scale is Class 6, those visiting highly populated areas such as universities, airports and stadiums with potential indirect contact with over 100 people.
Those in Class 6 have the highest chance of becoming a superspreader and should therefore be targeted as early as possible for vaccination, the study suggests.
The strategy was developed in partnership by researchers from Macquarie University, Queensland University of Technology and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.
Initially the research aimed at creating predictive modelling for vaccinations against influenza or other diseases with potential indirect transmission. However, with the onset of COVID-19, they quickly expanded the focus to include vaccines for global pandemic. Enditem