Using mathematical modelling to rethink global pneumococcal immunisation strategies

Year of award: 2017


  • Dr Stefan Flasche

    London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Project summary

Despite the success of pneumococcal vaccines, two major challenges remain. First, the expansion of untargeted serotypes after vaccination, deemed serotype replacement, has mitigated the impact of vaccination which has meant that pneumococci infection remains one of the predominant causes for child death. Second, pneumococcal vaccination programmes are among the most expensive routine vaccinations, which threatens their sustainability in low income countries. Decisions on which serotypes to target using vaccination serotype replacement have been largely overlooked.

I will use global data on pneumococcal disease patterns and combine these using a model that includes dynamic replacement effects to inform design of maximal impact vaccines. Furthermore, I will estimate who infects infants with pneumococci as this information could help assessment of reduced dose vaccination schedules. I will collect data on pneumococcal transmission pathways and will extrapolate those findings to settings with different demographic and epidemiological characteristics.

My findings may result in cost savings and improved efficiency for vaccination programmes.