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School of Physics and Astronomy

Modelling the development of a COVID-19 vaccine

Our colleague (and former Head of School) Emeritus Professor Steve Lloyd has been putting his computing skills to good use in this policy paper from the Centre for Global Development which was released on 1 October 2020.


The authors of this report collected publicly available information, interviewed experts, and used their diverse range of expertise to analyse and model the COVID-19 vaccine portfolio. They also modelled how long it would take to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines once they are approved. Their modelling suggests that it will probably take more than a year to produce enough vaccines to inoculate the world’s 50 million medical staff, and that it could be September 2023 before we have enough doses for the whole world.

This is an excellent example of how the modelling and coding skills of an experimental particle physicist, and founding member of the STFC funded GridPP distributed computing project, can be applied to a highly topical and important issue in public health. The full policy paper is available here:

"COVID-19 Vaccine Predictions: Using Mathematical Modelling and Expert Opinions to Estimate Timelines and Probabilities of Success of COVID-19 Vaccines"