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Current Openings at IVAC

 

Full-Time Positions:

     None available at this time. 

 

Indian Network for Streptococcus pneumoniae and PCV Impact Research (INSPIRE)

Evaluating PCV impact on pneumonia, invasive pneumococcal disease, pneumococcal carriage, and health economic outcomes in India 

Project Description

Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is the leading cause of severe respiratory disease and death in young children, and is also responsible for other serious diseases such as meningitis and sepsis. Global disease burden models for the year 2015, estimate that 20% of global childhood pneumococcal pneumonia occurred in India. Data from India indicate that available pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) include serotypes that account for 66%-74% of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in young children. The 2017 PCV launch into the national immunization schedule is poised to successfully combat the burden of pneumococcus in the country once scale-up of vaccine coverage takes place. The Government of India has also recommended robust evaluation of PCV impact to facilitate national rollout and sustained use of PCV. The team at the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in collaboration with INCLEN Trust in India, will work together to provide a comprehensive portfolio of impact data. We propose a multicenter study design spanning four years to identify changes between the pre-PCV and post-PCV periods in proportion of vaccine-type-colonized pneumonia hospital admissions among children 1-59 months old. We also propose to study changes in pneumococcal serotype ecology through nasopharyngeal (NP) colonization community studies as a measure of vaccine effectiveness against transmission, vaccine indirect effects and to assess the extent of serotype replacement. In addition, we propose economic analyses of pneumococcal disease and return-on-investment analyses of PCV introduction in India. We have designed this portfolio within the context of PCV introduction and rollout in six selected states in India, mindful of the need for baseline data, the staggered plan for PCV roll-out, and the inherent biases of observational studies with outcomes that are not specific to pneumococcal disease and that may be subject to multiple variations and possible confounders. The main sites will be located in the six states that are included in the PCV rollout plan between 2017-2019 (Bihar, UP, MP, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana). We will include existing public and private institutions that are engaged in infectious disease research at both facility- and community-based centers. Sites will use a common protocol to identify and recruit children using standard case definitions, obtain biological specimens, and run validated laboratory tests. The availability of a comprehensive database of disease-specific information can provide a valuable platform for assessment of PCV impact in India. These data will provide useful information to policy makers on changes in disease burden, pneumococcal transmission, serotype replacement and indirect vaccine effect as a result of PCV introduction, as well as a robust economic analyses that can help policy makers support, optimize, and advocate for the expansion of the PCV immunization program in India.

Students will participate in additional activities in later stages of the studies. These activities may include (but are not limited to) communicating with sites to correct data, obtaining regional vaccine coverage data, resolving missing data, assisting with progress reports, and assisting the study team with ad hoc requests.

IVAC will begin considering applications for this position in January 2018. To apply for the position, interested students should fill out the IVAC Student Opportunities Form.  Please also email resumes/CVs to Melissa Higdon (mhigdon@jhu.edu) and copy Dr. Anita Shet (ashet1@jhu.edu).