Vaccine demand driven by vaccine side effects: Dynamic implications for SIR diseases

Alberto d'Onofrio, Piero Manfredi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For infections for which the perceived risk of serious disease is steadily low, the perceived risk of suffering some vaccine side effects might become the driving force of the vaccine demand. We investigate the dynamics of SIR infections in homogeneously mixing populations where the vaccine uptake is a decreasing function of the current (or past) incidence, or prevalence, of vaccine side effects. We define an appropriate model where vaccine side-effects are modelled as functions of the age since vaccination.It happens that the vaccine uptake follows its own dynamics independent of epidemiological variables. We show the conditions under which the vaccine uptake lands on a globally stable equilibrium, or steadily oscillates, and the implications of such behaviour for the dynamics of epidemiological variables. We finally report some unexpected scenarios caused by trends in vaccine side effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-252
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • Delay
  • Information
  • Oscillations
  • Rational exemption to vaccination
  • Side effects
  • Stability
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Applied Mathematics


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