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Author:Weiss, Joshua 

Working Paper
Optimal Vaccine Policies: Spillovers and Incentives

We offer a novel theoretical framework to study optimal vaccination policies. The key features of the model are that agents: 1) differ both in their potential exposure (x) to others and vulnerability (y​) to severe illness, 2) exert negative externalities through interaction, and 3) can take voluntary preventative measures, for instance self-isolation. Our main result is a complete characterization of the second-best policy. Three striking features emerge. First, it is non-monotone – people with intermediate y are vaccinated more than those with either low or high y. Second, it exhibits ...
Working Paper , Paper 21-06

Briefing
Who Should Get Vaccines First?

We study optimal vaccination policies using a novel theoretical framework. We characterize the optimal vaccine allocation scheme in our model, which entails giving the highest priority to people with intermediate vulnerability and giving greater weight to potential exposure rather than vulnerability. Numerical results demonstrate that this approach performs significantly better than commonly considered strategies, in particular prioritizing only people who are the most vulnerable to severe illness.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Volume 21 , Issue 16

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