The AEA Early-Career Travel Award provided financial support for me to attend the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) intensive course on Epidemiological Evaluation of Vaccines: Efficacy, Safety, and Policy. The course provided training in advanced epidemiological tools for vaccine evaluation, including methods of evaluation in resource poor settings, where comparatively little administrative data are available. I learnt essential methods specific to vaccine epidemiology, which will enable a career in infectious disease epidemiology and vaccine preventable diseases in low- and middle-income countries.
The funding further supported my attendance at four meetings. I attended two meetings with Prof Stefan Flasche, of LSHTM to 1) present some results of existing research, and 2) to plan further research, with regard to the epidemiology of the pneumococcus in Fiji. I also had a meeting with Prof Paul Fine of LSHTM, founder of the John Snow Society. Prof Fine and I discussed the establishment of the Melbourne chapter of the John Snow Society, which I will launch on July 31st 2019 at the monthly epidemiology methods meetings I run at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Melbourne. Finally, I attended a meeting at GAVI in Geneva, where results of our research undertaken in Asia-Pacific with regard to the pneumococcus and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in Lao, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji were presented and discussed.