The ultimate goal of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns is to enable the return of societies and economies to a state of normality. While vaccines have been approved for children of age 12 and older, there is an ongoing debate as to whether children should be vaccinated and at what priority. Different countries such as the USA and UK have adopted diverse policies on this issue, while others remain undecided. In this work, we use mathematical modeling and optimization to study the effect of vaccinating children on the epidemic spread. We consider Pareto-optimal allocations according to competing measures of number of infections and mortality, and systematically study the trade-offs among them. When some weight is given to the number of infections, we find that it is optimal to allocate vaccines to adolescents in age group 10-19, even when they are assumed to be less susceptible than adults. Additionally, we find that in a broad range of scenarios, optimal allocations of vaccines do not include vaccination of age-group 0-9.
Joint work with Guy Katriel