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Project description

The HPRU in Immunisation provides publically funded and independent research on the English vaccination programme and supports national policy making

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Immunisation is a unique partnership between the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Public Health England creating a dynamic fusion of academic research and public health implementation that rapidly translates scientific advances in immunization into measurable benefits for society

The immunisation system is one of the most powerful tools available to protect the health of the population and, in England, it is one of the most highly developed in the world. Each new vaccine is assessed by monitoring the amount of disease that occurs in the population, estimating the effect of the vaccine on that disease burden using mathematical models, and calculating the costs and the health benefits of the vaccine programme using economic analyses.

The HPRU sustains and refines this process by optimising the tools for surveillance and evaluation and increasing health benefits across the whole of society. We use state-of-the-art electronic health record systems to streamline the evaluation of disease burden in the population and produce rapid assessments of vaccine impact and vaccine safety. We explore the differences in uptake of vaccines in different groups and research the factors driving these differences in order to improve vaccine coverage and generate an equitable health protection system through immunization. We investigate the delivery of vaccines through general practices, pharmacies and schools to work out the most efficient methods for giving each type of vaccine and we examine the way the NHS works with society in order to optimize vaccination uptake.

The results of our work are delivered rapidly to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the policy-setting body within the Department of Health, in order to impact quickly on immunization policy and optimize the vaccine programme in England and Wales.