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Control Strategies for the Third wave of COVID-19 infection in India: A Mathematical Model Incorporating Vaccine Effectiveness
  • Ashutosh Mahajan ,
  • Namitha Sivadas ,
  • Pooja Panda
Ashutosh Mahajan
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Namitha Sivadas
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Pooja Panda
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The waning effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines and the emergence of a new variant Omicron has given rise to the possibility of another outbreak of the infection in India. COVID-19 has caused more than 34 million reported cases and 475 thousand deaths in India so far, and it has affected the country at the root level, socially as well as economically. After going through different control measures, mass vaccination has been achieved to a large extent for the highly populous country, and currently under progress. India has already been hit by a massive second wave of infection in April-June, 2021 mainly due to the delta variant, and might see a third wave in the near future that needs to be controlled with effective control strategies. In this paper, we present a compartmental epidemiological model with vaccinations incorporating the dose-dependent effectiveness. We study a possible sudden outbreak of SARS-CoV2 variants in the future, and bring out the associated predictions for various vaccination rates and point out optimum control measures. Our results show that for transmission rate 30% higher than the current rate due to emergence of new variant or relaxation of social distancing conditions, daily new cases can peak to 250k in March 2022, taking the second dose effectiveness dropping to 50% in the future. A combination of vaccination and controlled lockdown or social distancing is the key to tackling the current situation and for the coming few months. Our simulation results show that social distancing measures show better control over the disease spread than the higher vaccination rates.