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Tuesday 5th April 2022


The transmission dynamics of infectious diseases are inevitably influenced by inequality, poverty and social determinants of health.  Health disparities or inequalities will result in unequal burdens across a country’s population in terms of economic impact, morbidity and mortality. The coronavirus pandemic is no exception, arguably highlighting and perhaps widening decades of health inequalities.
Intriguingly real-time monitoring, using for example public health data, of the evolving pandemic in the United Kingdom is revealing some apparent socio-economic anomalies that are counterintuitive.  In particular, during certain epochs the most disadvantaged groups have the highest incidence of COVID-19, conversely at other times the highest incidence is reported by the more privileged groups.  The precise mechanisms behind this switching of the highest case incidence between the least and most disadvantaged groups remains an open question.

The synergy between infectious disease transmission and socio-economic determinants ideally should not only be accounted for by policy-makers but also by mathematical models which aim to inform policy decisions.  This drives a need for the next generation of epidemiological models to reach beyond the traditional boundaries of contagion and mortality dynamics to include the socio-economic characteristics of the underlying population.

This virtual event was guided by links with the JUNIPER Consortium and delivered by the RAMP Continuity Network, the follow-on to the Royal Society’s Rapid Assistance in Modelling the Pandemic (RAMP) initiative. It brought together modelling expertise from a diverse range of disciplines to support the pandemic modelling community already working on COVID-19. 

Aims and Objectives

This one-day virtual workshop aimed to facilitate communication between epidemiologists, social scientists, mathematical modellers and public health policy makers. It did this by giving an overview of the emerging socio-economic patterns seen through the lens of the UK COVID-19 public health data, as well as discussing the socio-economic factors from both a public health and social science perspective.
Participants had the opportunity to raise questions following each presentation. There was also a facilitated Q&A Discussion at the end of the day where individuals had the opportunity to table further questions and share thinking.

Programme and Registration

Registration for this event is now closed.

The programme can be found here.


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