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Epidemiological evaluation of vaccines: efficacy, safety and policy

Please apply by completing the online application form on the bottom of this web-page.

Dates for the next intake: 6 - 17 July 2015

Course Outline

The Epidemiology of a Vaccine

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 efficiency, safety and policy. It aims to address immunisation issues in high, medium and low income countries.

Aims and Objectives

The overall aim of this short course is to provide an understanding of the methods used in the evaluation of vaccines and immunization; from early human trials through to assessment of population impact and policy. Specifically the course will:

  • Bring the participants up to date with the current methods for epidemiological evaluation of vaccines in terms of efficacy and safety, and collection of evidence necessary for policy formulation and evaluation.
  • Provide an understanding of the application of epidemiology to the pre- and post-licensure evaluation of vaccines
  • Address the epidemiological issues for vaccine evaluation in high, medium and low income countries.
  • Equip participants to critically analyse how vaccines are evaluated for safety and efficacy, and how to collect the evidence necessary for vaccine policy setting, programme implementation and impact measurement.

Who Should Apply?

The course is relevant to public health professionals and field researchers with a strong interest in vaccine efficacy, safety and policy impact. 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.

Teaching Methods and Course Materials 

All teaching is carried out at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London 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.

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

Case Studies

"I attended the LSHTM vaccine course in 2011. As an international health professional with a mandate to support capacity building in African countries, I found the course is extremely useful as it filled in the gaps between vaccination theory and practice/policy on the ground. The modules on vaccine efficacy and effectiveness, the impact studies, and the key issues in vaccination schedules and policy were especially useful. I highly recommend this course to public health professionals or researchers. I believe the course would help advance your career and build further in-depth knowledge in vaccine policy and practice." Hongyi Xu, Nairobi, 2011.

"This course was really comprehensive for both regulatory bodies and industry as well. It helped me to understand the methods of conducting vaccine studies which are different than regular medicinal products. Also, the materials are very useful to evaluate all studies that relate to vaccines and I still use them, especially during my routine work." Thamir M Alshammari, Riyadh, 2012.

“I am absolutely convinced about your concept. The course is very helpful to understand the use of vaccines to fight against severe diseases.” Marco Hoffman, Munich, 2012.

Course Certificate and Assessment

There will be no formal assessment but a Certificate of Attendance will be awarded to those completing the course.

Course Fee

The course fee for 2015 is £2,625.00.  

Participants employed by an institution from a LMIC are are offered a 50% reduction on the course fee. This offer is applicable to a maximum of 10 participants on a first come first serve basis based on receipt of payment.  World Bank Definition of LMIC

Fees will and cover participation in the course, training materials, and incidental tea/coffee and reception, but does not cover travel costs, accommodation and meals. If the course fee is to be paid on the applicant's behalf, please send a letter from the sponsor to confirm this as soon as possible. Otherwise, the applicant will be held personally responsible for payment.

Accommodation and Meals

The School cannot provide accommodation for participants. A list of hotels and other accommodation located in the vicinity of the School can be provided on request to Registry.
Lunch can be purchased from the School refectory. Evening meals are not catered for at the School, but there is a large choice of restaurants and coffee shops nearby.

How to apply

Please complete the ONLINE APPLICATION FORM.

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is committed to improving global health through its programme of short and full-time postgraduate study.

Please note:

  • If you have been offered a place on the course you will not be able to register without bringing formal ID (Passsport) and without having obtained the correct visa.
  • It is essential that you read the current visa requirements for short course students. To view this information please click here.
  • The School may cancel courses two weeks before the first day of the course if numbers prove insufficient.  In those circumstances, course fees will be refunded.
  • The School cannot accept responsibility for accommodation, travel and other losses incurred as a result of the course being cancelled.
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