Dengue vaccines will soon provide a new tool for reducing dengue disease, but the effectiveness of widespread vaccination campaigns has not yet been determined. We developed an agent-based dengue model representing movement of and transmission dynamics among people and mosquitoes in Yucatán, Mexico, and simulated various vaccine scenarios to evaluate effectiveness under those conditions. This model includes detailed spatial representation of the Yucatán population, including the location and movement of 1.8 million people between 375,000 households and 100,000 workplaces and schools. Where possible, we designed the model to use data sources with international coverage, to simplify re-parameterization for other regions. The simulation and analysis integrate 35 years of mild and severe case data (including dengue serotype when available), results of a seroprevalence survey, satellite imagery, and climatological, census, and economic data. To fit model parameters that are not directly informed by available data, such as disease reporting rates and dengue transmission parameters, we developed a parameter estimation toolkit called AbcSmc, which we have made publicly available. After fitting the simulation model to dengue case data, we forecasted transmission and assessed the relative effectiveness of several vaccination strategies over a 20 year period. Vaccine efficacy is based on phase III trial results for the Sanofi-Pasteur vaccine, Dengvaxia. We consider routine vaccination of 2, 9, or 16 year-olds, with and without a one-time catch-up campaign to age 30. Because the durability of Dengvaxia is not yet established, we consider hypothetical vaccines that confer either durable or waning immunity, and we evaluate the use of booster doses to counter waning. We find that plausible vaccination scenarios with a durable vaccine reduce annual dengue incidence by as much as 80% within five years. However, if vaccine efficacy wanes after administration, we find that there can be years with larger epidemics than would occur without any vaccination, and that vaccine booster doses are necessary to prevent this outcome.
Dengue is a mosquito-transmitted viral disease that is common throughout the tropics. Despite a long history in humans and extensive efforts to control dengue transmission in many countries, the number, severity, and geographic range of reported cases is increasing. Most control efforts have focused on controlling mosquito populations, but the main vector, Aedes aegypti, flourishes in human-disturbed and indoor environments. Because the mosquitoes prefer to bite during the day when people are active and potentially moving around high-risk locations, fixed barriers like bed nets are not effective. Several dengue vaccines are being actively developed and may become valuable tools in dengue control. Using historical dengue data from Yucatán, Mexico, we fit a detailed simulation of human and mosquito populations to project future transmission, then used efficacy data from vaccine trials to evaluate the benefit of potential vaccination deployment strategies in the region. For a durable vaccine, we find that population-level, annual vaccine effectiveness approaches 65% by the end of the 20-year forecast period. For waning vaccines, however, effectiveness is greatly reduced–and sometimes negative–unless booster vaccinations are used.