Vaccination with partial transmission and social distancing on contact networks

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We study the impact of vaccination on the risk of epidemics spreading through structured networks using the cavity method of statistical physics. We relax the assumption that vaccination prevents all transmission of a disease used in previous studies, such that vaccinated nodes have a small probability of transmission. To do so, we extend the cavity method to study networks where nodes have heterogeneous transmissibility. We find that vaccination with partial transmission still provides herd immunity and show how the herd immunity threshold depends upon the assortativity between nodes of different transmissibility. In addition, we study the impact of social distancing via bond percolation and show that percolation targeting links between nodes of high transmissibility can reduce the risk of an epidemic greater than targeting links between nodes of high degree. Finally, we extend recent methods to compute the distributional equations of risk in populations with heterogeneous transmissibility and show how targeted social distancing measures may reduce overall risk greater than untargeted vaccination campaigns, by comparing the effect of random and targeted strategies of node and link deletion on the risk distribution.
Original languageEnglish
Article number033302
JournalJournal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment
Issue number3
Early online date8 Mar 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Mar 2022


  • statistical mechanics
  • epidemiology
  • disordered systems
  • non-equilibrium
  • complex systems
  • complex networks
  • random graphs


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