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IVAC Projects

Vaccines save lives if people are vaccinated. IVAC aims to build knowledge and support for the value of vaccines and strong immunization programs to ensure they reach those who would benefit the most.

Everything we do is through a lens of rigorous science, clear communication, and productive partnership. Across our five teams, we combine content knowledge and technical expertise to develop innovative solutions that help save lives and reduce the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases. Our approach is rooted in the Evidence-Policy-Access value chain, and we work where there are gaps to support, facilitate, and compliment the work of our global, regional, and in-country partners. 


Baseline Assessment for Streptococcus Pneumoniae of India Serotypes (BASIS)

The objective of the BASIS project is to establish a surveillance platform to characterize the serotype distribution of Streptococcus pneumoniae causing invasive disease among children younger than five years of age in India. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the BASIS project builds on the recently completed ASIP study to continue surveillance for invasive pneumococcal disease to provide the evidence-base in India for selection of an appropriate pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and baseline information to evaluate the impact of vaccine introduction on serotype distribution.

Partners include:

  • Pushpagiri Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Thiruvalla
  • Christian Medical College, Vellore
  • St. Johns Medical College, Bangalore
  • Kanchi Kamakoti Childs Trust Hospital, Chennai
  • Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune
  • Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya, New Delhi

Key Contacts: Mathuram Santosham and William Moss

Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH)

Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health

Existing knowledge on the etiologies of childhood pneumonia is largely based on studies from the 1980s and 1990s. With expanded use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and Hib vaccine and changes in host and environmental factors, a new evidence base that harnesses novel technologies for diagnosis is needed. The Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) study, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is a case-control study to determine the etiology of and risk factors for severe and very severe pneumonia in children aged 1-59 months.  PERCH enrolled 4,232 hospitalized cases and 5,325 community controls from 7 African and Asian countries selected to be representative of areas where most of the severe pneumonia cases in children occur.

More information: 

Partners include: 

  • International Emerging Infections Program, Global Disease Detection Center, Thailand Ministry of Public Health–US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Collaboration, Nonthaburi, Thailand;
  • Division of Global Health Protection, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA;
  • The Emmes Corporation, Rockville, Maryland, USA;
  • International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), Dhaka and Matlab, Bangladesh;
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA;
  • Kenya Medical Research Institute-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kilifi, Kenya;
  • Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia;
  • Department of Paediatrics University of Auckland, New Zealand;
  • Centre for International Health, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand;
  • Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine, Center for Vaccine Development, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA;
  • Centre pour le Développement des Vaccins (CVD-Mali), Bamako, Mali;
  • Medical Research Council: Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa;
  • Department of Pathology, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand;
  • Microbiology Unit, Canterbury Health Laboratories, Christchurch, New Zealand;
  • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom;
  • Center for Global Health and Development, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA;
  • Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia;
  • Department of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Key contact: Kate O'Brien

Other Active Epidemiology Projects: 

  • Adult Global Estimation of Disease Burden and Distribution of Serotypes of Serious Pneumococcal and Meningococcal Disease (AGEDD)
  • Vaccine Coverage and Country Profile Strategic Information Project
  • Estimating Effective Vaccination Coverage with Immune Markers: Validation of anti-tetanus toxoid IgG and anti-measles IgG assays for use with dried blood spots and oral fluid samples (IMS)
  • Gap Analysis in Data and Information Required for Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) Policy Optimization
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccines (PCV) Technical Coordination Project
  • Assessing the feasibility of using serological data to monitor and guide immunization programs in low income countries
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Impact Studies (PCVIS)
  • Mobile Solutions for IMmUnization (m-SIMU)


Economics & Finance

The Decade of Vaccine Economics (DOVE), Phase IV

The DOVE project estimates the global economic benefits, costs, financing, funding gap, and return on investment in national immunization programs. We have developed a suite of updatable models that look across 94 low- and middle-income countries and 10-18 antigens, during Decade of Vaccines (2011-2020). Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the models enable funding partners and international bodies such as BMGF, Gavi Secretariat, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization to make informed decisions on global vaccine investments and strategies. Phase IV of the DOVE project will involve assessing the economic impact of vaccination by gathering primary data on the averted cost of illness due to vaccine preventable diseases in select countries, as well as updating and extending existing DOVE vaccine economic models.

Partners include:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Gavi Alliance
  • World Health Organization
  • Rutgers University
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering
  • Carnegie Mellon University

Key Contact: Dagna Constenla

Dengue Vaccine Initiative (DVI)

Dengue Vaccine InitiativeThe DVI is a collaboration between the International Vaccine Institute, the Sabin Vaccine Institute, the World Health Organization, and IVAC that aims to support the effective and prompt introduction of dengue vaccines in dengue-endemic countries by conducting evidence-based research to inform policy. Current work is focused on quantifying the regional and country-level demand for dengue vaccines in dengue-endemic, engaging with GAVI and contributing to preparation of investment cases. Our work also involves developing innovative financing alternatives for dengue vaccines and helping countries with budget impact analyses and other types of impact studies.


  • International Vaccine Institute (IVI)
  • The Sabin Vaccine Institute
  • World Health Organization

Key Contact: Dagna Constenla

Other Active Economics & Finance Projects: 

  • Dengue Vaccine Initiative (DVI) (Funded by: IVI, Sanofi Pasteur of Sanofi-Aventis)
  • Decade of Vaccine Economics (DOVE) (Funded by: BMGF)
  • Pneumococcal vaccines in the elderly in countries of emerging economies (Funded by: Merck Co.)
  • PCV economic impact in Nepal (Funded by: Gavi/Oxford)
  • Strategic Immunization Geo-Temporal Mapping Application (SIGMA) (Funded by: Pfizer)
  • VENUS (Funded by: Merck Co.)
  • H2R (Hard to Reach Populations) project (Funded by: CDC)
  • Implementation strategies for a new point-of-care test for early infant diagnosis (Funded by: NIH)
  • Development of a vaccine against dengue (Funded by: Federal Ministry for Education and Research, Federal Republic of Germany)


Policy, Advocacy & Communications

Building an Enabling Environment for Vaccines in India - Phase II (EEVI2)

Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, IVAC provides ongoing technical support and expertise to inform decision making and encourage advocacy for Hib, pneumococcal conjugate and rotavirus vaccines  at a center, state, and local level. The project aims to create an environment that enables timely, evidence-based policies and decisions for nationwide introduction and delivery of pentavalent, rotavirus, and pneumococcal vaccines into India’s Universal Immunization Programme, while simultaneously raising the volume of political and public discussion around the value of vaccines and a high quality routine immunization system as a necessary part of cost-effective, integrated public health. With partners, the project engages local stakeholders (government, experts, civil society, financial stakeholders, parliamentarians, state and local leaders and others) to not only understand and use the data, but to take ownership and drive the process based on their vision for their own country that recognizes the broad value of vaccines. EEVI works closely with government, partners and civil society to help justify  increased investments in new vaccines and the system to support improved coverage and equity in the context of a comprehensive approach to disease prevention.  


  • Global Health Strategies 

Key contact: Lois Privor-Dumm

Rotavirus Organization of Technical Allies (ROTA) Council

IVAC chairs the ROTA Council, comprising 19 international expert members and three core partners, and its support team in the Council’s mission to provide the scientific and technical evidence policy makers and other key stakeholders need to accelerate the introduction of rotavirus vaccine in high-burden countries. The Council provides a credible source of information and guidance for decision-makers by building scientific and technical consensus around rotavirus vaccines and works to identify key strategies to resolve potential barriers to vaccine introduction in countries. The Council continues to provide critical scientific and technical evidence, strengthen partnerships across the diarrheal disease community, and engage with in-country champions to raise awareness about rotavirus disease burden and the potential impact of vaccines in order to build support for introduction decisions.


  • CDC
  • PATH
  • Sabin Vaccine Institute
  • GMMB

Key contact: Mathuram Santosham

Other Active Policy, Advocacy and Communications Projects: 

  • Vaccine Implementation Technical Assistance Consortium (VITAC)
  • Strengthening Advocacy for Immunization through Data-Phase 2 (SAID-II Project)
  • Vaccine Introduction Milestone & Timing Benchmark Project
  • Global Coalition Against Child Pneumonia & Diarrhea and World Pneumonia Day
  • IPV Introduction and the Polio Endgame
  • Fiscal Advocacy for Immunization in Nigeria through Advocacy Networks, Coordination and Evidence (FAINANCE)
  • Strengthening Training for EPI and PHC in Nigeria (STEP-IN)
  • National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) strengthening support to Gavi Country Programmes and Monitoring and Evaluation 
  • Adult Vaccine Initiative


Operations Research

HERMES-logoHighly Extensible Resource for Modeling Event-Driven Supply Chains (HERMES)

The Highly Extensible Resource for Modeling Event-Driven Supply Chains (HERMES) Logistics Modeling Team focuses on developing computational models and tools to improve the delivery of healthcare goods, such as vaccines, throughout the world and consists of professionals from IVAC at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the University of Pittsburgh Department of Industrial Engineering, and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC).  An example of a tool that the team developed is HERMES, a computational tool for designing, planning, and improving healthcare supply chains. Distributing vaccines (and other healthcare products) can be a complex process, integrating many steps, locations, personnel, and equipment. HERMES will be a free and accessible supply chain modeling tool that’s designed to help various stakeholders make informed decisions about health policy, particularly vaccine introductions and modifications. Countries where HERMES has been applied to support decision making regarding vaccine use and delivery systems are Niger, Senegal, Benin, Vietnam, Thailand, Kenya, Chad, Mozambique, and India. The project is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UNICEF.

Key Contact: Bruce Lee


Other IVAC Projects

The IVAC team is also involved in a range of other, smaller projects aimed at improving vaccine access including studies of the vaccine decision-making process in Peru; the use of oral fluid assays to monitor vaccine coverage in Bangladesh; exploring the relationship between distance from a health center or hospital, vaccination coverage, and overall mortality; how to leverage the experience and skills of consumer goods companies to improve delivery of vaccines in remote areas; and policy and ethical issues related to the introduction of new vaccines in middle-income countries.