An influenza simulation model for immunization studies.
A stochastic simulation epidemic model based on discrete time intervals and appropriate for any infectious agent spread by person-to-person contacts is presented. The population is highly structured, allowing for five age groups and for subgrouping mixing in families, neighborhoods, schools, and preschool playgroups as well as total community mixing. With proper choice of relative susceptibility by age, length of latency and infectivity periods, pathogenicity and withdrawal patterns, and the relative infectiousness of silent infections, the model becomes highly agent-specific. The model includes flexible immunization routines and variable vaccine response patterns. The model is applied to the 1957 Asian and 1968 Hong Kong pandemic strains of influenza A. The results of several schedules of immunization of school children are presented and compared for the two strains.