I was fortunate to be awarded an AEA Early Career Travel Award last year, which supported me to attend a short course at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) on the epidemiological evaluations of vaccines. The interactive and informative course covered a wide variety of topics related to immunisation including immunology, clinical trials, surveillance, dynamic modelling, policy and vaccine hesitancy.
As part of my PhD, I have been working on a dynamic model to understand the determinants of herd immunity to pneumococcal vaccines within three contrasting countries in the Asia Pacific (Laos, Mongolia and Papua New Guinea). While in London, I presented interim results to a group of researchers at the LSHTM with extensive experience with pneumococcal disease modelling and received useful feedback to refine and improve my work.
I also had opportunity to accompany my PhD supervisors to attend meetings at Gavi, the vaccine alliance, and at the World Health Organization in Geneva, where I presented interim PhD findings. Attending such meetings was helpful to better understand the ways in which researchers and policy makers can collaborate to enable useful policy-relevant research. I’d like to thank the AEA for this wonderful opportunity to expand my research skills, experience and networks.