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Geography and Environmental Science

Research project: Use of novel modeling approaches to improve measles and rubella vaccination strategies (VaxPop) - Dormant

Currently Active: 

Recent measles outbreaks in Africa and Asia show that continued measles circulation is characterized by unpredictable timing of local outbreaks, an increase in the mean and variance in the age of cases, and greater variability in the size of outbreaks. This shifting epidemiological landscape indicates a need for locally-tailored control strategies that reflect changes in the predictability of outbreaks and the risk profile of populations as areas transition from endemic infection to elimination.

We have developed a series of methods for describing local epidemiological conditions to aid in decision-support for 1) supplemental vaccination with measles containing vaccine, 2) measles outbreak response, and 3) introduction of rubella containing vaccine. These methods integrate various sources of demographic, programmatic, and surveillance data (Aim 1) to generate broad categories of epidemiological settings to aid in vaccine program planning at the national (Aim 2) and sub-national level (Aim 3). Throughout, we have worked with public health partners to provide decision-support for specific measles and rubella vaccination questions (Aim 4).

Major Achievements

Aim 1: We developed a comprehensive database inclusive of measles surveillance, administrative and survey-based covergage, and demographic data. We used these data to run country-specific simulations of different measles and rubella vaccination strategies.

Aim 2: We developed a method of categorizing countries according to observed and predicted measles and rubella dynamcis using a) historical surveillance to predict susceptible age distribution, b) forward projection of epidemic risk to evaluate SIA age targets, and c) response of CRS burden to RCV introduction to inform catch-up campaign strategies.

Aim 3: We expanded our efforts to better characterize sub-national measles susceptibility and outbreak risk and employed geospatial mapping techniquesto better visualize sub-national patterns. We have developed case studies for 1) supplemental vaccine targeting in the Ebola affected countries and Ethiopia, 2) sub-national outbreak response in Malawi and DRC, and 3) introduction of RCV in Madagascar.

Aim 4: We continued to engage with global partners to ensure that our models are tailored to public healh needs. We have developed sub-national assessments of measles vaccination coverage and distribution of immunity for the Ebola affected countries, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Katanga DRC.

Start date: 1/6/2016
End date: 31/12/2018

Related research groups

Population, Health and Wellbeing (PHeW)
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