Understanding the impact of pneumococcal vaccines
This World Immunisation Week, join us for a series of webinars hosted by LSHTM Vaccine Centre between Friday 24 April to Friday 1 May 2020.
Pneumococcal infections are caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae and is the leading cause of bacterial pneumonia, septicaemia (blood poisoning) and meningitis in young children. Pneumococcal pneumonia kills more children each year than any other disease. Most of the approximately 500,000 child deaths per year from pneumonia occur in LMICs.
However, we now have effective vaccines to prevent this morbidity and mortality and WHO has recommended that all countries introduce pneumococcal vaccines in their immunisation programmes. This is particularly important in countries with high levels of child mortality.
In this session, expert researchers in the field from LSHTM will discuss the impact of pneumococcal vaccines in mitigating pneumonia and meningitis since their introduction, who we might wish to optimise their use and how the vaccine introduction might have changed the carriage and types of pneumococci we see in vaccinated populations.
- Dr Grant Mackenzie: Clinical Epidemiologist and Paediatrician, MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM
Dr Mackenzie is an epidemiologist/paediatrician with a particular interest in pneumococcal disease and vaccines, pneumonia and severe bacterial infections.
He trained at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia and completed his PhD at Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin describing the effectiveness of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in northern Australia. He has been based at the MRC Unit The Gambia since 2008 as Clinical Epidemiologist at the Basse Field Station.
He co-ordinates surveillance for pneumococcal disease and carriage in eastern Gambia, evaluating the effectiveness of the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to reduce rates of invasive disease, radiologic pneumonia, carriage, and the cost-effectiveness of vaccination. He is also involved in studies evaluating different pneumococcal vaccine schedules, documenting short and long-term outcomes after childhood pneumonia, risk factors for pneumonia, evaluating IMCI criteria for pneumonia, and describing the epidemiology of pneumonia and the causes of serious bacterial illness.
- Dr Stefan Flasche: Associate Professor - Infectious Disease Epidemiology (IDE), LSHTM
Dr Stefan Flasche has a diploma (masters equivalent) in mathematics from the Technische Universitaet in Berlin and a PhD in mathematical modelling of infectious diseases with Strathclyde University and Public Health England. The complexities and challenges of pneumococcal vaccination have been the main focus of his work. As of 2018 Stefan's research in this area is funded through a Sir Henry Dale Wellcome Trust Fellowship.
In addition, he has has advised the WHO on modelling (including dengue and malaria) and currently serves on WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation's (WHO SAGE) working group on pneumococcal conjugate vaccines and on the WHO SAGE working group on dengue vaccine as well on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation's (JCVI) pneumococcal subgroup.
- Jada Hackman: PhD student in Infectious Disease Epidemiology, LSHTM
Jada is a PhD student in Infectious Disease Epidemiology at LSHTM
- Dr Stephane Hue: Associate Professor Epidemiology, Biostatistics & Bioinformatics, LSHTM
Dr Stephane Hue is a computational biologist specialised in viral evolution and molecular epidemiology. His interests are in reconstructing transmission dynamics on the basis of viral gene sequences. He primarily studies patterns of pathogen transmission through the joint analysis of epidemiological and gene sequence data. Stephane work involves the implementation of statistical models in phylogenetic studies, particularly in the context of reconstructing time and spatial trends of viral transmissions. While his research activity was primarily oriented towards the study of HIV-1, he is applying his skills to a broad range of viruses and bacteria, including Dengue virus, Ebola virus and Streptococcus pneumonia.
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