The joint determination of morbidity and vaccination in the spatiotemporal epidemiology of COVID-19

Michael Beenstock, Daniel Felsenstein*, Matan Gdaliahu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper examines the mutual dependence between COVID-19 morbidity and vaccination rollout. A theory of endogenous immunization is proposed in which the decision to become vaccinated varies directly with the risks of contagion, and the public self-selects into self-protection. Hence, COVID-19 morbidity varies inversely with vaccination rollout, and vaccination rollout varies directly with COVID-19 morbidity. The paper leverages the natural sequencing between morbidity and immunization to identify the causal order in the dynamics of this relationship. A modified SIR model is estimated using spatial econometric methods for weekly panel data for Israel at a high level of spatial granularity. Connectivity between spatial units is measured using physical proximity and a unique mobility-based measure. Spatiotemporal models for morbidity and vaccination rollout show that not only does morbidity vary inversely with vaccination rollout, vaccination rollout varies directly with morbidity. The utility of the model for public health policy targeting, is highlighted.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number100621
JournalSpatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Causality
  • Morbidity and vaccination
  • SIRV model
  • Spatial panel econometrics
  • Spatial spillover
  • Spatio-temporal epidemiology


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