ECDC launches modelling hub projecting future COVID-19 health impact

07 June 2022

Article: 56/2205

On 30 May 2022, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), along with the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases (CMMID) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), announced the launch of the European COVID-19 Scenario Hub, which will present modelling projections on how the COVID-19 pandemic may evolve in terms of cases, hospitalisations and deaths. The hub will serve as a resource for member states in their pandemic planning and will inform decisions aimed at minimising the expected burden caused by COVID-19 under different scenarios.

The hub will be updated by collating long-term modelling scenarios for thirty EU and EEA member states, the UK and Switzerland, with each potential scenario composed of one or more plausible and policy-relevant variables, for example, biological parameters, such as the rate of waning immunity, or assumed future changes in contact behaviours. Scenarios cover a period of nine to twelve months, including the coming winter period. Instead of just using single projections, the hub combines and compares different modelling projections from different modelling teams across Europe, hopefully leading to increased confidence and robustness of drawn conclusions and insights.

Scenario modelling combines the best-available epidemiological evidence with realistic assumptions on key uncertainties, in order to create future trajectories of relevant indicators. From this, rational policies can be adopted at an early stage. Comparing results contributed by different modelling teams can highlight important parameters, assumptions and sources and the magnitude of their uncertainty, that would otherwise be difficult to capture.

The scenario hub builds on the current European COVID-19 Forecasting Hub, launched in early 2021, which continues to combine short-term forecasts on the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths. The scenario hub will complement the forecasting hub with more long-term projections submitted by modelling teams in academic and public health institutes from across Europe and the USA.

Source: ECDC, 30 May 2022