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Monday, March 15, 2021

Game Theory Modeling Vaccine Rollout

Excerpt,   Found Game Theory to be useful, as the article suggests, when you are modeling problems that include potentially competing and cooperative players.   Most difficult were establishing varying payoffs.    Full article at link.  

How Game Theory Could Solve the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Puzzle

Rand, Fortune

"  ..... Game theory is a field of mathematics that models competitive and cooperative human interactions, where a “game” is composed of players, their actions, and the resulting payoffs. Often applied to competitive economic and political contexts, game theory can be valuable for predicting behavior and incentivizing decisions that improve a broader system. In the context of health care, it models individuals' decisionmaking criteria when accessing health services.

In the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the “players” would be individuals seeking care; the actions would be the individuals' selection of a facility; and the payoffs would be measured in terms of how individuals perceive the risk of vaccination, distance traveled, and level of service available at a chosen facility. The level of service might be captured in terms of the congestion of facilities or a supply-demand ratio.

In past research, game theory predicted whether or not individuals would vaccinate, if herd immunity could be achieved, potential vaccine accessibility, and how individuals select vaccination centers. Among other things, these analyses can help calculate how many vaccines need to be sent to each vaccination center. This approach has been proven valuable in after-the-fact analyses of the H1N1 vaccination campaign in 2009 and the response to Haiti's cholera epidemic in 2010. In those scenarios it enabled the identification of “equilibrium solutions,” which represent how individuals may select vaccination centers when given the freedom to choose. .... " 

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