skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on January 1, 2023

Title: ADVISER: AI-Driven Vaccination Intervention Optimiser for Increasing Vaccine Uptake in Nigeria
More than 5 million children under five years die from largely preventable or treatable medical conditions every year, with an overwhelmingly large proportion of deaths occurring in under-developed countries with low vaccination uptake. One of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDG 3) aims to end preventable deaths of newborns and children under five years of age. We focus on Nigeria, where the rate of infant mortality is appalling. We collaborate with HelpMum, a large non-profit organization in Nigeria to design and optimize the allocation of heterogeneous health interventions under uncertainty to increase vaccination uptake, the first such collaboration in Nigeria. Our framework, ADVISER: AI-Driven Vaccination Intervention Optimiser, is based on an integer linear program that seeks to maximize the cumulative probability of successful vaccination. Our optimization formulation is intractable in practice. We present a heuristic approach that enables us to solve the problem for real-world use-cases. We also present theoretical bounds for the heuristic method. Finally, we show that the proposed approach outperforms baseline methods in terms of vaccination uptake through experimental evaluation. HelpMum is currently planning a pilot program based on our approach to be deployed in the largest city of Nigeria, which would be the first deployment more » of an AIdriven vaccination uptake program in the country and hopefully, pave the way for other data-driven programs to improve health outcomes in Nigeria. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1952011
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10345613
Journal Name:
31st International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI)
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a major public health priority throughout much of the world, affecting millions of people. In many regions, particularly those in resource-limited settings, SCD is not consistently diagnosed. In Africa, where the majority of SCD patients reside, more than 50% of the 0.2–0.3 million children born with SCD each year will die from it; many of these deaths are in fact preventable with correct diagnosis and treatment. Here, we present a deep learning framework which can perform automatic screening of sickle cells in blood smears using a smartphone microscope. This framework uses two distinct, complementary deep neural networks. The first neural network enhances and standardizes the blood smear images captured by the smartphone microscope, spatially and spectrally matching the image quality of a laboratory-grade benchtop microscope. The second network acts on the output of the first image enhancement neural network and is used to perform the semantic segmentation between healthy and sickle cells within a blood smear. These segmented images are then used to rapidly determine the SCD diagnosis per patient. We blindly tested this mobile sickle cell detection method using blood smears from 96 unique patients (including 32 SCD patients) that were imaged bymore »our smartphone microscope, and achieved ~98% accuracy, with an area-under-the-curve of 0.998. With its high accuracy, this mobile and cost-effective method has the potential to be used as a screening tool for SCD and other blood cell disorders in resource-limited settings.

    « less
  2. We study the role of vaccine acceptance in controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the US using AI-driven agent-based models. Our study uses a 288 million node social contact network spanning all 50 US states plus Washington DC, comprised of 3300 counties, with 12.59 billion daily interactions. The highly-resolved agent-based models use realistic information about disease progression, vaccine uptake, production schedules, acceptance trends, prevalence, and social distancing guidelines. Developing a national model at this resolution that is driven by realistic data requires a complex scalable workflow, model calibration, simulation, and analytics components. Our workflow optimizes the total execution time and helps in improving overall human productivity.This work develops a pipeline that can execute US-scale models and associated workflows that typically present significant big data challenges. Our results show that, when compared to faster and accelerating vaccinations, slower vaccination rates due to vaccine hesitancy cause averted infections to drop from 6.7M to 4.5M, and averted total deaths to drop from 39.4K to 28.2K nationwide. This occurs despite the fact that the final vaccine coverage is the same in both scenarios. Improving vaccine acceptance by 10% in all states increases averted infections from 4.5M to 4.7M (a 4.4% improvement) and total deathsmore »from 28.2K to 29.9K (a 6% increase) nationwide. The analysis also reveals interesting spatio-temporal differences in COVID-19 dynamics as a result of vaccine acceptance. To our knowledge, this is the first national-scale analysis of the effect of vaccine acceptance on the spread of COVID-19, using detailed and realistic agent-based models.« less
  3. Abstract Background When three SARS-CoV-2 vaccines came to market in Europe and North America in the winter of 2020–2021, distribution networks were in a race against a major epidemiological wave of SARS-CoV-2 that began in autumn 2020. Rapid and optimized vaccine allocation was critical during this time. With 95% efficacy reported for two of the vaccines, near-term public health needs likely require that distribution is prioritized to the elderly, health care workers, teachers, essential workers, and individuals with comorbidities putting them at risk of severe clinical progression. Methods We evaluate various age-based vaccine distributions using a validated mathematical model based on current epidemic trends in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. We allow for varying waning efficacy of vaccine-induced immunity, as this has not yet been measured. We account for the fact that known COVID-positive cases may not have been included in the first round of vaccination. And, we account for age-specific immune patterns in both states at the time of the start of the vaccination program. Our analysis assumes that health systems during winter 2020–2021 had equal staffing and capacity to previous phases of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic; we do not consider the effects of understaffed hospitals or unvaccinated medical staff. Resultsmore »We find that allocating a substantial proportion (>75 % ) of vaccine supply to individuals over the age of 70 is optimal in terms of reducing total cumulative deaths through mid-2021. This result is robust to different profiles of waning vaccine efficacy and several different assumptions on age mixing during and after lockdown periods. As we do not explicitly model other high-mortality groups, our results on vaccine allocation apply to all groups at high risk of mortality if infected. A median of 327 to 340 deaths can be avoided in Rhode Island (3444 to 3647 in Massachusetts) by optimizing vaccine allocation and vaccinating the elderly first. The vaccination campaigns are expected to save a median of 639 to 664 lives in Rhode Island and 6278 to 6618 lives in Massachusetts in the first half of 2021 when compared to a scenario with no vaccine. A policy of vaccinating only seronegative individuals avoids redundancy in vaccine use on individuals that may already be immune, and would result in 0.5% to 1% reductions in cumulative hospitalizations and deaths by mid-2021. Conclusions Assuming high vaccination coverage (>28 % ) and no major changes in distancing, masking, gathering size, hygiene guidelines, and virus transmissibility between 1 January 2021 and 1 July 2021 a combination of vaccination and population immunity may lead to low or near-zero transmission levels by the second quarter of 2021.« less
  4. The deployment of vaccines across the US provides significant defense against serious illness and death from COVID-19. Over 70% of vaccine-eligible Americans are at least partially vaccinated, but there are pockets of the population that are under-vaccinated, such as in rural areas and some demographic groups (e.g. age, race, ethnicity). These unvaccinated pockets are extremely susceptible to the Delta variant, exacerbating the healthcare crisis and increasing the risk of new variants. In this paper, we describe a data-driven model that provides real-time support to Virginia public health officials by recommending mobile vaccination site placement in order to target under-vaccinated populations. Our strategy uses fine-grained mobility data, along with US Census and vaccination uptake data, to identify locations that are most likely to be visited by unvaccinated individuals. We further extend our model to choose locations that maximize vaccine uptake among hesitant groups. We show that the top recommended sites vary substantially across some demographics, demonstrating the value of developing customized recommendation models that integrate fine-grained, heterogeneous data sources. In addition, we used a statistically equivalent Synthetic Population to study the effect of combined demographics (eg, people of a particular race and age), which is not possible using US Census datamore »alone. We validate our recommendations by analyzing the success rates of deployed vaccine sites, and show that sites placed closer to our recommended areas administered higher numbers of doses. Our model is the first of its kind to consider evolving mobility patterns in real-time for suggesting placement strategies customized for different targeted demographic groups. Our results will be presented at IAAI-22, but given the critical nature of the pandemic, we offer this extended version of that paper for more timely consideration of our approach and to cover additional findings.« less
  5. Abstract Background Global vaccine development efforts have been accelerated in response to the devastating coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We evaluated the impact of a 2-dose COVID-19 vaccination campaign on reducing incidence, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States. Methods We developed an agent-based model of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission and parameterized it with US demographics and age-specific COVID-19 outcomes. Healthcare workers and high-risk individuals were prioritized for vaccination, whereas children under 18 years of age were not vaccinated. We considered a vaccine efficacy of 95% against disease following 2 doses administered 21 days apart achieving 40% vaccine coverage of the overall population within 284 days. We varied vaccine efficacy against infection and specified 10% preexisting population immunity for the base-case scenario. The model was calibrated to an effective reproduction number of 1.2, accounting for current nonpharmaceutical interventions in the United States. Results Vaccination reduced the overall attack rate to 4.6% (95% credible interval [CrI]: 4.3%–5.0%) from 9.0% (95% CrI: 8.4%–9.4%) without vaccination, over 300 days. The highest relative reduction (54%–62%) was observed among individuals aged 65 and older. Vaccination markedly reduced adverse outcomes, with non-intensive care unit (ICU) hospitalizations, ICU hospitalizations, and deaths decreasing bymore »63.5% (95% CrI: 60.3%–66.7%), 65.6% (95% CrI: 62.2%–68.6%), and 69.3% (95% CrI: 65.5%–73.1%), respectively, across the same period. Conclusions Our results indicate that vaccination can have a substantial impact on mitigating COVID-19 outbreaks, even with limited protection against infection. However, continued compliance with nonpharmaceutical interventions is essential to achieve this impact.« less