Impact of vaccination and non-pharmaceutical interventions on SARS-CoV-2 dynamics in Switzerland

Andrew J. Shattock, Epke A. Le Rutte, Robert P. Dünner, Swapnoleena Sen, Sherrie L. Kelly, Nakul Chitnis, Melissa A. Penny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Background: As vaccination coverage against SARS-CoV-2 increases amidst the emergence and spread of more infectious and potentially more deadly viral variants, decisions on timing and extent of relaxing effective, but unsustainable, non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) need to be made. Methods: An individual-based transmission model of SARS-CoV-2 dynamics, OpenCOVID, was developed to compare the impact of various vaccination and NPI strategies on the COVID-19 epidemic in Switzerland. OpenCOVID uses the Oxford Containment Health Index (OCHI) to quantify the stringency of NPIs. Results: Even if NPIs in place in March 2021 were to be maintained and the vaccine campaign rollout rapidly scaled-up, a ‘third wave’ was predicted. However, we find a cautious phased relaxation can substantially reduce population-level morbidity and mortality. We find that faster vaccination campaign can offset the size of such a wave, allowing more flexibility for NPI to be relaxed sooner. Model outcomes were most sensitive to the level of infectiousness of variants of concern observed in Switzerland. Conclusion: A rapid vaccination rollout can allow the sooner relaxation of NPIs, however ongoing surveillance of - and swift responses to - emerging viral variants is of utmost importance for epidemic control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100535
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


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