COVID-19 in low-tolerance border quarantine systems: impact of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2

Cameron Zachreson, Freya M. Shearer, David J. Price, Michael J. Lydeamore, Jodie McVernon, James McCaw, Nicholas Geard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In controlling transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the effectiveness of border quarantine strategies is a key concern for jurisdictions in which the local prevalence of disease and immunity is low. In settings like this such as China, Australia, and New Zealand, rare outbreak events can lead to escalating epidemics and trigger the imposition of large-scale lockdown policies. Here, we develop and apply an individual-based model of COVID-19 to simulate case importation from managed quarantine under various vaccination scenarios. We then use the output of the individual-based model as input to a branching process model to assess community transmission risk. For parameters corresponding to the Delta variant, our results demonstrate that vaccination effectively counteracts the pathogen's increased infectiousness. To prevent outbreaks, heightened vaccination in border quarantine systems must be combined with mass vaccination. The ultimate success of these programs will depend sensitively on the efficacy of vaccines against viral transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabm3624
Number of pages11
JournalScience Advances
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

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