The current global monkeypox virus (MPXV) outbreak has disproportionately affected gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM). Given that many jurisdictions have been faced with limited supplies of MPXV vaccine, we aimed to explore optimal vaccine allocation between 2 linked GBMSM transmission networks over a short-term time horizon, across several epidemic conditions.
We constructed a deterministic compartmental MPXV transmission model. We parameterized the model to reflect 2 representative, partially connected GBMSM sexual networks ( cities), using 2022 data from Ontario. We simulated a roll-out of 5000 vaccine doses over 30 days that started 45 days after epidemic seeding with 10 imported cases. Within this model, we varied the relative city (network) sizes, epidemic potentials (R0), between-city mixing and distribution of seed cases between cities. For each combination of varied factors, we identified the allocation of doses between cities that maximized infections averted by day 90.
Under our modelling assumptions, we found that a limited MPXV vaccine supply could generally avert more early infections when prioritized to networks that were larger, had more initial infections or had greater R0. Greater between-city mixing decreased the influence of initial seed cases and increased the influence of city R0 on optimal allocation. Under mixed conditions (e.g., fewer seed cases but greater R0), optimal allocation required doses shared between cities.
In the context of the current global MPXV outbreak, we showed that prioritization of a limited supply of vaccines based on network-level factors can help maximize infections averted during an emerging epidemic. Such prioritization should be grounded in an understanding of context-specific risk drivers and should acknowledge potential connectedness of multiple transmission networks.