EPROACH: A Population Vaccination Game for Strategic Information Design to Enable Responsible COVID Reopening

by   Shutian Liu, et al.

The COVID-19 lockdowns have created a significant socioeconomic impact on our society. In this paper, we propose a population vaccination game framework, called EPROACH, to design policies for reopenings that guarantee post-opening public health safety. In our framework, a population of players decides whether to vaccinate or not based on the public and private information they receive. The reopening is captured by the switching of the game state. The insights obtained from our framework include the appropriate vaccination coverage threshold for safe-reopening and information-based methods to incentivize individual vaccination decisions. In particular, our framework bridges the modeling of the strategic behaviors of the populations and the spreading of infectious diseases. This integration enables finding the threshold which guarantees a disease-free epidemic steady state under the population's Nash equilibrium vaccination decisions. The equilibrium vaccination decisions depend on the information received by the agents. It makes the steady-state epidemic severity controllable through information. We find out that the externalities created by reopening lead to the coordination of the rational players in the population and result in a unique Nash equilibrium. We use numerical experiments to corroborate the results and illustrate the design of public information for responsible reopening.


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