COVID-19 vaccine coverage targets to inform reopening plans in a low incidence setting

Eamon Conway, Camelia R. Walker, Christopher Baker, Michael J. Lydeamore, Gerard E. Ryan, Trish Campbell, Joel C. Miller, Nic Rebuli, Max Yeung, Greg Kabashima, Nicholas Geard, James Wood, James M. McCaw, Jodie McVernon, Nick Golding, David J. Price, Freya M. Shearer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in 2019 through to mid-2021, much of the Australian population lived in a COVID-19-free environment. This followed the broadly successful implementation of a strong suppression strategy, including international border closures. With the availability of COVID-19 vaccines in early 2021, the national government sought to transition from a state of minimal incidence and strong suppression activities to one of high vaccine coverage and reduced restrictions but with still-manageable transmission. This transition is articulated in the national 're-opening' plan released in July 2021. Here, we report on the dynamic modelling study that directly informed policies within the national re-opening plan including the identification of priority age groups for vaccination, target vaccine coverage thresholds and the anticipated requirements for continued public health measures-assuming circulation of the Delta SARS-CoV-2 variant. Our findings demonstrated that adult vaccine coverage needed to be at least 60% to minimize public health and clinical impacts following the establishment of community transmission. They also supported the need for continued application of test-trace-isolate-quarantine and social measures during the vaccine roll-out phase and beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20231437
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number2005
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2023


  • COVID-19
  • mathematical modelling
  • pandemic response
  • public health policy
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • vaccination strategy

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