Abstract for: Modelling for pandemic preparedness

Pandemics are large-scale outbreaks of an infectious disease that lead to increases in morbidity and mortality. The risk of these seismic events has grown over time and highlights the need for policymakers to prioritise and improve preparedness plans for pandemics. Specifically, such plans must include training exercises that address the inherent complexity of policymaking in the response phase, where high-stakes decisions must be taken in less-than-optimal conditions. Here, we present a simulation model based on the widely-adopted SEIR framework, whereby pandemic managers can evaluate the likely efficacy of control strategies in containing the spread of a disease. In addition to vaccination, these control strategies correspond to non-pharmaceutical interventions such as testing and isolation, contact tracing, and mobility restrictions. Furthermore, we add an extra layer of realism to this model by coupling each control strategy with formulations that impose resource and behavioural constraints. For instance, we employ the logistic model for modelling the dynamics of resource accumulation. We describe the model incrementally and provide simulation results that account for the spread of a pandemic influenza-like pathogen in the Netherlands under various scenarios. The results indicate that deploying all available resources is required to mitigate the impact of a pandemic.