Epidemiological Evaluation of Vaccines: Efficacy, Safety and Policy

Epidemiological Evaluation of Vaccines: Efficacy, Safety and Policy

Course overview

Epidemiological research has become an important tool in assessing vaccine protection. Although there are several courses specialising in vaccinology, there remains a gap in teaching about advanced epidemiological tools for vaccine evaluation. This course fills that gap, providing an in-depth training on current methods used in the evaluation of vaccine efficacy, safety and policy. It aims to address immunisation issues in high, middle and low income countries.

Course Content

The topics to be covered will include:

  • Epidemiological principles of vaccine evaluation
  • Immunological basis for vaccination
  • Pre-licensure epidemiological issues:
    • Phase I, II and III trials
    • Practical and ethical considerations
    • Clinical trials: sample size and analysis issues
    • Good clinical practice and adverse event monitoring during vaccine trials
  • Post-licensure epidemiological issues:
    • Vaccine efficacy and effectiveness
    • Impact studies
    • Burden of disease assessment
    • Surveillance of disease and infection
    • Adverse events monitoring
  • Using immunology in vaccine evaluation
  • Infectious disease modelling in assessing vaccine impact
  • Economic evaluation of vaccination programmes
  • Key issues in vaccination schedules and policy
  • Long term implications of vaccination programmes
  • Topical issues in the epidemiology of vaccine preventable disease

Teaching Methods and Course Materials

All teaching is carried out at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and consists of a combination of formal lectures and more informal seminars and group practicals. A comprehensive manual will be provided to accompany the presentations.

Entry requirements

The course is relevant to public health professionals and field researchers with a strong interest in vaccine efficacy, safety and policy impact. Although this course focuses on human diseases the same concepts apply to animal diseases. The course is intensive and a good command of the English language is essential. A knowledge of computers and a basic knowledge of Word for Windows and Excel is also essential.

Participants will be expected to have completed a basic post-graduate epidemiology module or equivalent. They should have an understanding of epidemiological measures of disease frequency (incidence, prevalence), measures of effect (odds ratios, risk ratios), the merits of different study designs (cross-sectional, cohort, case-control, intervention studies) and key concepts and implications of sampling error, bias and confounding.