Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (663)

Jennifer Whitmore

Question:

663. Deputy Jennifer Whitmore asked the Minister for Health if transmissibility has been factored into modelling the progression of Covid-19 during and after vaccination has been carried out in Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2906/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to plan appropriately, a sub-group of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) was established to provide advice and expertise in the area of epidemiological modelling. The objective of the group is to expand the statistical and mathematical modelling capacity available to NPHET, critically reviewing the emerging research, analysing and interpreting the national epidemiological data on the outbreak, using and adapting standard mathematical models of infectious disease, and parameterising and calibrating these to the national demographics and outbreak data. IEMAG are currently exploring how the impact of vaccinations will influence the parameters, including transmissibility, used in their models. The work is ongoing and based on emerging evidence in this area.

The group is chaired by Professor Philip Nolan and delivers an integrated and comprehensive programme of data analysis and modelling work. Membership comprises academics with expertise in epidemiology, public health, statistics, mathematics, computer science, and geospatial science, researchers from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), and expert colleagues from Health Service Executive (HSE), Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and others.

Technical notes on the approaches used by IEMAG are published on the Department of Health website (https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/dc5711-irish-epidemiology-modelling-advisory-group-to-nphet-technical-notes/ ).