To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? A coevolutionary dilemma

Seminar on 5 June  2018  at DFA  Aula F  h. 15.30

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? A coevolutionary dilemma

Dr. Alessio Cardillo
Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES), Tarragona, Spain

Abstract
The quantitative study of disease propagation has captured the attention of statistical physicists for a long time. Vaccination, whenever available, is the most effective way to harness and prevent the spreading of a disease. Notwithstanding, we are recently witnessing the emergence of widespread anti-vaccine movements, which are mainly fueled by misconceptions and mischievous news about vaccines. Under normal circumstances, the decision of getting vaccinated can be considered as an act of cooperation, since it bestows benefits on the whole population at the expenses of single individuals. Scientists (including physicists) are devoting tremendous efforts in designing efficient immunization strategies as well as shedding light on the mechanisms behind the deliberate decision of not getting vaccinated. In this talk, I will present an analytically solvable coevolutionary model based on evolutionary game theory and disease spreading to address the problem of voluntary vaccination against seasonal influenza. Interestingly, the results reveal a rise -- followed by a fall, -- of the vaccination coverage as the vaccine become less perfect. This apparently counterintuitive behavior is analyzed and understood from stability principles of the proposed mathematical model.

Martedì, 5 Giugno, 2018 - 15:30