Epidemiological Evaluation of Vaccines: Efficacy, Safety and Policy

Overview - Epidemiological evaluation of vaccines: efficacy, safety and policy

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

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. 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.

Course fee

The course fee for 2024 is £3,450. The course will take place in London, UK.

Participants employed by academic/governmental institutions or NGOs from a LMIC (World Bank definition) 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.

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.

Course objectives
Course objectives - Epidemiological evaluation of vaccines: efficacy, safety and policy

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 and 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.

Course Certificate and Assessment

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

Testimonials - Epidemiological evaluation of vaccines: efficacy, safety and policy

“This course covered an impressive breadth of material while ensuring objectives for each learning domain were manageable. The entire course was very well organized and the instructors were both accessible to students and passionate about their work. As a research associate with a public health background, I was particularly inspired by course modules that covered topics outside my professional purview (e.g. immunology, methods in correlates of protection). The two-week intensive course has expanded my academic interests and I will use this learning to shape next steps in my career” Rika Moorhouse, Ottawa

“The course was a fantastic opportunity to experience the full breadth of research in vaccines through contact with leading scientists and peers working in the area. In addition, having participants from all over the globe gave the course a unique mix of experiences and perspectives that enriched learning and skill acquisition. The skills I gained from the course were of immediate practical use in my work on the impact of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in Kenya. Insights I gained during the course are guiding me towards developing a research question in the field of measles epidemiology and measles vaccine policy. Attending the course also helped me develop important contacts in the field of vaccine epidemiology.” Kenneth Munge, Nairobi

“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

"The course is very relevant for vets given that the epidemiological assessment techniques are the same, regardless of disease. Some of the examples are veterinary (Paul Fine likes to add some!) Regulation of veterinary medicines is very similar in process to that of human drugs and the types of studies presented should be the same. Often the scale is smaller, but the course will help highlight the risks from this. For my work, where I am considering how we could trial a TB vaccine in cattle, the course has helped me understand key issues of interest to the EU and to stakeholders, namely how do we know if the vaccine will make a difference to disease epidemiology?" Eleanor Brown, UK

How to apply
How to apply - Epidemiological evaluation of vaccines: efficacy, safety and policy

Applying for this course

Applications for 2024 are now open and can be made via our online application form.

Please read LSHTM's Admissions policies prior to submitting your application.

Short courses - visas, accommodation, disclaimer


The student is responsible for obtaining any visa or other permissions to attend the course, and is encouraged to start the application process as early as possible as obtaining a visa for the UK can sometimes take a long time. The Short Courses team can provide supporting documentation if requested.


A list of hotels located in the vicinity of LSHTM, along with further resources for short term accommodation, can be found on our accommodation pages

Important information

Please note:

  • Students will be required to bring their own laptops. The Stata package will be available for the duration of the course.
  • If you have been offered a place on the course you will not be able to register without bringing a formal ID (Passport) and without having obtained the correct visa if required.
  • It is essential that you read the current visa requirements for short course students.
  • LSHTM may cancel courses two weeks before the first day of the course if numbers prove insufficient.  In those circumstances, course fees will be refunded.
  • LSHTM cannot accept responsibility for accommodation, travel and other losses incurred as a result of the course being cancelled.