New online modeling hub will provide projections on health impact of COVID-19 across Europe

A new online modeling hub - launched this week - will present projections on how the COVID-19 pandemic may evolve in terms of cases, hospitalizations and deaths, thus helping countries in their pandemic planning.

The European COVID-19 Scenario Hub models different scenarios for thirty EU/EEA Member States, the UK and Switzerland. Each scenario includes one or more factors that might inform policy decisions, such as how quickly people are losing immunity to the virus, or potential changes in how people might interact with each other in the future. Scenarios cover a period of nine to twelve months, including the coming winter period.

The Scenario Hub, developed and run by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in collaboration with the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases (CMMID) at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), combines and compares different modeling projections from teams across Europe to provide an accurate picture of the potential outcomes of different scenarios.

Exploring plausible scenarios for the future of the COVID-19 pandemic can provide valuable insights for planning purposes. This Scenario Hub will bring together the expertise of different modeling teams to help policymakers come to informed decisions."

Sebastian Funk, Professor of Infectious Disease Dynamics, LSHTM

Scenario modeling combines the best-available epidemiological evidence with realistic assumptions on key variables, such as immunity and interactions. From this, governments can adopt rational policies at an early stage and make decisions aimed at minimizing the expected burden caused by COVID-19.

Comparing results contributed by different modeling teams can highlight important common factors, as well as unknowns that would otherwise be difficult to capture.

The Scenario Hub builds on the success of the European COVID-19 Forecasting Hub that was launched in early 2021 and continues to combine short-term forecasts on the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

The Scenario Hub will complement the Forecasting Hub with more long-term projections submitted by modeling teams in academic and public health institutes across Europe and the USA.

Andrea Ammon, ECDC Director, said: "The Scenario Hub will help inform public health preparedness and anticipatory action as Europe transitions into new phases of the pandemic.

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