Integrated economic-epidemiological modelling during the COVID-19 response and future applications

Public health and social measures (PHSM) are critical to reducing or halting the transmission of an infectious disease, especially when pharmaceutical interventions are not yet available or not widely accessible. PHSM include both actions that individuals can take (e.g. increased personal hygiene, physical distancing, mask wearing and limiting physical contacts) and public health and social policies mandated by authorities (e.g. closure of schools and businesses, mobility restrictions, banning mass gatherings, etc).In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, PHSM have been applied at an unprecedented scale and timespan globally. Despite the growing evidence that these measures significantly reduce COVID-19 transmission and deaths, some PHSM can have adverse and unintended effects on the general welfare of society and individuals. The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted that countries need a better understanding of the broader health, social and economic effects of PHSM to be able to make evidence-informed decisions about their implementation during future health emergencies.A new group of models called “integrated economic-epidemiological models” reflect the close interdependence of public health outcomes and the economy and the concern of policy makers to balance lives and livelihoods. These integrated models promise to help overcome the key challenge of fragmented and siloed research on the pandemic and better inform policy decisions. The drive for integration comes from both sides. Economists have rapidly escalated their attempts to incorporate epidemiological models in their analyses. However, while the basic mathematical principles of dynamic transmission models are deceptively simple, it is an enormous endeavour to obtain realistic estimates from these models. Likewise, epidemiological models often ignore broader economic considerations or incorporate them in a simplistic manner as an add-on or disjointed calculation. This joint webinar of the World Health Organization, the Jameel Institute and MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis of Imperial College London focuses on recent developments in integrated econ-epi modelling. The objectives are to give an overview of the unique features of integrated econ-epi models, reflect how they have been used in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, discuss existing shortcomings and areas where improvements are needed, and lastly, future applications of econ-epi models to support the pandemic preparedness agenda.More information here.Speakers :Edith Patouillard (introduction)Katharina Hauck (presenter)Patrick Doohan (presenter)Matteo Pianella (presenter)Michele Cecchini (facilitator)Rosemarie Edillon (discussant)Gesine Meyer-Rath (discussant)Andrew Burns (discussant)Tessa Tan-Torres Edejer (concluding speaker)Links and documents:Background document: webpages: To stay informed about our future webinars, register to our newsletter and visit our dedicated webspace.Timestamps:00:00:00 - Introduction word by Edith Patouillard00:06:00 - Introduction of the speakers00:07:55 - Presentation of the 'Integrated epidemiological-economic models for pandemic migration policies' literature review part I, by Katharina Hauck00:12:55 - Part II, by Patrick Doohan00:19:07 - Part III, by Matteo Pianella00:30:00 - Introduction of the panel discussion, by Michele Cecchini 00:30:36 - Rosemarie Edillon00:34:18 - Gesine Meyer-Rath00:46:35 - Andrew Burns00:47:00 - Q&A session01:23:30 - Concluding word by Tessa Tan-Torres Edejer