Could Periodic Nonpharmaceutical Intervention Strategies Produce Better COVID-19 Health and Economic Outcomes?

Published in: Journal on Policy and Complex Systems, Volume 7, Number 1, pages 81–118 (Spring 2021). doi: 10.18278/jpcs.7.1.8

Posted on RAND.org on October 20, 2021

by Raffaele Vardavas, Pedro Nascimento de Lima, Lawrence Baker

Read More

Access further information on this document at policyandcomplexsystems.files.wordpress.com

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

We developed a COVID-19 transmission model to compare the effects of nonpharmaceutical public health interventions (NPIs) on health and economic outcomes. An interdisciplinary approach informed the selection and use of multiple NPIs, combining quantitative modeling of the health and economic impacts of interventions with qualitative assessments of other important considerations (e.g., cost, ease of implementation, equity). We used our model to analyze strategies that periodically switch between a base NPI and a high NPI level. We find that this systematic strategy could have produced similar health outcomes as static strategies but better social welfare and economic outcomes. Our findings suggest that there are opportunities to shape the tradeoffs between economic and health outcomes by carefully evaluating a more comprehensive range of reopening policies.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.