New Modeling Center Will Provide Accurate and Timely Data to Inform Decision Makers About Potential Future Scenarios and Improve Public Health Preparedness
A new online modeling center – launched this week – will present projections of how the COVID-19 pandemic could evolve in terms of cases, hospitalizations and deaths, helping countries with their pandemic planning .
The European COVID-19 Scenario Hub models different scenarios for thirty EU/EEA member states, the UK and Switzerland. Each scenario includes one or more factors that could inform policy decisions, such as how quickly people lose immunity to the virus or potential changes in how people might interact with each other in the future. The scenarios cover a period of nine to twelve months, including the next winter period.
The Scenario Hub, developed and managed by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in collaboration with the Center for Mathematical Modeling of Infectious Diseases (CMMID) at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), combines and compares different model projections from teams across Europe to provide an accurate picture of the potential outcomes of different scenarios.
Sebastian Funk, Professor of Infectious Disease Dynamics at LSHTM, said: “Exploring plausible scenarios for the future of the COVID-19 pandemic can provide valuable insights for planning purposes. This Scenario Hub will bring together the expertise of different modeling teams to help policymakers make informed decisions.
Scenario modeling combines the best available epidemiological evidence with realistic assumptions about key variables, such as immunity and interactions. From there, governments can adopt sound policies at an early stage and make decisions to minimize the expected burden caused by COVID-19.
Comparing the results provided by different modeling teams can highlight important common factors, as well as unknowns that would otherwise be difficult to grasp.
The Scenario Hub builds on the success of the European COVID-19 Forecasting Hub which was launched in early 2021 and continues to combine short-term forecasts of the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
The Scenario Hub will complement the Forecasting Hub with longer-term projections submitted by modeling teams at academic and public health institutes across Europe and the United States.
Andrea Ammon, Director of ECDC, said: “The Scenario Hub will help inform public health preparedness and anticipatory measures as Europe moves into new phases of the pandemic.