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The in-depth understanding of the dynamics of COVID-19 transmission among different age groups is of great interest for governments and health authorities so that strategies can be devised to reduce the pandemic’s detrimental effects. We developed the SIRDV-Virulence (Susceptible-Infected-Recovered-Dead-Vaccinated-Virulence) epidemiological model based on a population balance equation to study the effects virus mutants, vaccination strategies, ‘Anti/Non Vaxxer’ proportions, and reinfection rates to provide methods to mitigate COVID-19 transmission among the United States population. Based on publicly available data, we obtain the key parameters governing the spread of the pandemic. The results show that a large fraction of infected cases comes from the adult and children populations in the presence of a highly infectious COVID-19 mutant. Given the situation at the end of July 2021, the results show that prioritizing children and adult vaccinations over that of seniors can contain the spread of the active cases, thereby preventing the healthcare system from being overwhelmed and minimizing subsequent deaths. The model suggests that the only option to curb the effects of this pandemic is to reduce the population of unvaccinated individuals. A higher fraction of ‘Anti/Non-vaxxers’ and a higher reinfection rate can both independently lead to the resurgence of the pandemic.


This is the published version of the Roy, J., Heath, S.M., Wang, S. et al. Modeling COVID-19 transmission between age groups in the United States considering virus mutations, vaccinations, and reinfection. Sci Rep 12, 20098 (2022).