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Simulating Vaccination

This video shows the Agent Based Model run with 50% of the agents vaccinated.

Without vaccination the epidemic spreads rapidly as illustrated in Figure 6.1(a) . There is a high peak with over half the agents infected.

After vaccination of 50% of the population the video of the simulation shows a much lower peak and many less agents being infected.

When the number of vaccinations is increased to 65% of the population the virus finds it difficult to get a hold, as illustrated in Figure 6.1(b). In practice most vaccination programmes aim for 80% or more of the population. [2]

Figure 6.1. (a) no vaccinations (6) (b) 65% vaccinations Two screenshots of runs of the ABM. On the left none of the agents is vaccinated and there is a large peak of infections.. On the left 65% are vaccinated and there is no peak

Addition 18th May 2020

A tracker, developed by the Vaccine Centre at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, follows COVID-19 vaccine candidates as they progress through the development pipeline. It is updated weekly. COVID-19 vaccine development pipeline With thanks to Robert Peek.

What do you think

Do you think this is a convincing demonstration that vaccination works? Do you think vaccinating up to 80% or more of the population is a good policy?


[1] London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, “COVID-19 vaccine development pipeline”, Viewed 18 May 2020.


[2] Dr Manish Sadarangani, ‘Herd Immunity: How does it work?’, Oxford Vaccine Group, General Public Engagement. 26 April 2016. link

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This video is from the free online course:

COVID-19: Pandemics, Modelling, and Policy

UNESCO UNITWIN Complex Systems Digital Campus