Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Computational modeling can help plan vaccine introduction

30.09.2011
Proper planning before the introduction of new vaccines into a developing country's active immunization program could prevent storage problems and transportation bottlenecks that decrease the availability of existing vaccines by as much as two-thirds, according to a University of Pittsburgh study.

Computational models can assess the evolving needs of the vaccine supply chain – or the series of steps required to get a vaccine from the manufacturer to the target population. The modeling can forecast the impact of new vaccine introduction and identify potential disruptions, concluded the study, which will appear in the November issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

"Our study highlights the importance of prior planning when introducing new vaccines to avoid last-minute temporary fixes," said the study's lead author, Bruce Y. Lee, M.D., M.B.A., assistant professor of medicine, epidemiology and biomedical informatics at the University of Pittsburgh. "New vaccines may not fit smoothly into supply chains and therefore fail to reach their target populations easily. These problems may prevent other vaccines from reaching clinics as well. Manufacturers and policymakers should consider vaccine quantity and packaging before designing vaccines and introducing them in unfamiliar areas with limited resources."

The Pitt scientists, who are part of the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation-funded Vaccine Modeling Initiative, developed a computational model to determine the impact of introducing rotavirus vaccine and the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to Niger's Expanded Programs on Immunization vaccine supply chain.

Thousands of West African children die every year from rotavirus and pneumococcal disease, such as pneumonia. The Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) is a World Health Organization initiative that aims to make vaccines that can prevent these deaths available to all children around the world.

Introducing the rotavirus vaccine and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to Niger's EPI vaccine supply chain could displace other EPI vaccines from already limited storage and transport space and could prevent EPI vaccines from reaching patients, the study found. The scientists estimated introducing these vaccine inventories to the supply chain could decrease vaccine availability by 24 percent to 69 percent.

The study's predictions are similar to what happened when officials introduced rotavirus vaccine to a Latin American program in 2006 and 2007, the researchers noted. In that case, bulky vaccines displaced existing EPI vaccines in already limited refrigerator space and forced overburdened health care workers to carry additional thermoses to transport the new vaccines. As a result of these unforeseen problems, large stocks of vaccine expired.

Computational models can help decision makers plan and understand complex systems, Lee said.

"Although computational models have been widely used in similar logistics planning in many other industries, such as transportation, manufacturing, the military and aerospace, their use in public health has been comparatively limited," he said. "These models could be a very helpful tool for health workers to plan vaccine supply chains."

The study was supported by the Vaccine Modeling Initiative, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study. Co-authors include Tina-Marie Assi, M.P.H., Jayant Rajgopal, Ph.D., Bryan A. Norman, Ph.D., Sheng-I Chen, Ph.D., Shawn T. Brown, Ph.D., Rachel R. Bailey, M.P.H., Ph.D., Souleymane Kone, M.S., Hailu Kenea, M.S., Joel S. Welling, Ph.D., Diana L. Connor, M.P.H., Angela R. Wateska, M.P.H., Anirban Jana, Ph.D., Ann E. Wiringa, M.P.H., Willem G. Van Panhuis, M.D., Ph.D., and Donald S. Burke, M.D., dean of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Allison Schlesinger | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.upmc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School

nachricht Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.

Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

20.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Researchers find social cultures in chimpanzees

20.11.2018 | Life Sciences

When AI and optoelectronics meet: Researchers take control of light properties

20.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>