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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

Yale: Experts Train Latin American Health Officials in New Vaccine Analysis

Twenty health officials from 10 Latin American and Caribbean countries attended a series of workshops in mid-May hosted by the Yale School of Public Health to be trained in a new statistical method that evaluates the effectiveness of vaccines.

The three-day conference was sponsored by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), which is the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for the Americas. The WHO and PAHO have been collaborating with Yale School of Public Health researchers and analysts for the past several years.

Those who attended the workshop received  training in a new statistical method that evaluates the effectiveness of vaccines using large amounts of existing administrative data, such as death records and hospitalization statistics, said Dr. Daniel Weinberger, associate professor at the Yale School of Public Health and one of the conference organizers.

Dr. Weinberger and his team of YSPH epidemiologists and analysts created the novel statistical method using a data analysis tool originally developed by Google for website analytics. The method allows statisticians and epidemiologists to filter out unrelated factors in public health data to get a clearer picture of a vaccine’s impact. 

The Yale team, along with colleagues at PAHO and local ministries of health, recently used this process to evaluate the effects of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine on pneumonia deaths in children under five in 10 Latin America countries. countries represented at the conference were: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru.

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