- Assessing the epidemiological impact of extending the national influenza vaccination programme to healthy children in England
M. Boele van Hensbroek
- Award date
- 10 September 2015
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA)
Infection with influenza can result in significant morbidity and mortality each winter. The key strategy for control is vaccination and it was recently recommended to extend the routine programme in England to include healthy children. The aim of this thesis is therefore to collate the intelligence on monitoring the population-level burden of influenza, uptake of the vaccine and epidemiological impact of the programme through routine surveillance systems.
The first chapter addresses several factors that should be considered when assessing the impact of such a programme extension.
The second chapter, through assessment of pre-existing data, reports what the hypothesised impact of an extension to the vaccination programme is to provide an indication of what we may expect to see and how it can be experimentally measured.
The third chapter presents initial observations from the first year of the programme, with encouraging levels of vaccine uptake reached and early suggestions of an overall impact of the programme in targeted age groups on a range of disease endpoints.
A considerable amount of preparatory work has been undertaken to monitor the impact of the childhood influenza vaccination programme through routine surveillance data sources. It is important therefore to continue this monitoring work in a timely fashion to assist with elements of the rollout such as the specific age group targeted and to see if observations are consistent across different influenza seasons and endpoints. This work will help inform a full future epidemiological impact assessment.
- Research conducted at: Public Health England, London, Department of Respiratory Diseases