Navigation Links
Sizing up stockpiles of children's vaccines
Date:9/10/2010

A creative version of a classic engineering technique may improve decisions about building and using supplies of important pediatric vaccines, potentially leading to lower public health costs and healthier children.

The United States maintains a six-month supply of common pediatric vaccines to ensure protection from deadly diseases, such as the flu, polio, and diphtheria, despite interruptions in vaccine production. The stockpiles must be replenished as the vaccines are used or expire, and, because the manufacture of vaccines is a laborious and unreliable process, health officials must place orders for new vaccines up to a year in advance.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) have developed a mathematical framework to better understand the implications of vaccine stockpile levels through evidence-based engineering principles. Industrial engineers Sheldon Jacobson of UIUC and Rubn Proao of RIT, who specialize in operations research, and Janet Jokela, a specialist in public health and infectious diseases at UIUC, published this work in the online edition of the November 2010 Journal of Industrial and Management Optimization.

Deciding how many pediatric vaccine doses to order from year to year is no simple task. According to the researchers, "The decision must balance several objectives that sometimes conflict." These include: minimizing the impact of vaccine shortages, maintaining or increasing vaccine coverage, and minimizing vaccine costs (including costs from unused vaccine).

The number of doses to order also may also depend on the importance of the vaccine. Some vaccines are easier to obtain than others, some diseases are more contagious or more deadly than others, and society has higher immunity levels against some pediatric diseases than others.

The researchers' model for setting stockpile levels is a novel adaptation of the "utility maximization problem" (UMP). One everyday example of a UMP is the set of considerations involved in choosing a car--such as cost, performance, and gas mileage--that a buyer must weigh based on relative importance. The best car for a particular buyer will depend on his or her preferences.

"UMPs have long been used by engineers and businesspeople to optimize decisions," explains Jacobson. "What's unique about this work is the way we customized the UMP to take into account multiple objectives and criteria." The mathematical framework allows health officials to see the optimal stockpile levels for different initial conditions and preferences of public health officials.

"The framework developed by Jacobson and his collaborators begins a new and richer dialogue about vaccine stockpiling," says Russell Barton, NSF program director for Service Enterprise Systems. "The likely result will be better decisions on setting vaccine stockpiling policies. But the framework of multi-attribute utility theory has the potential to transform many processes for setting health-care policy. "

Through eight hypothetical scenarios, the researchers demonstrated how different approaches to managing stockpiles of six pediatric vaccines have different implications for public health. When initial conditions are poor, due to low stockpiles and/or low vaccine coverage, the scenarios revealed that the preferences of the public health decision-maker can significantly affect what the optimal stockpile size would be.

For example, if vaccine coverage is high but the stockpile inventory is low, a preference for minimizing the impact of vaccine shortages might focus vaccine resources on just a few important diseases. Under these same conditions, a decision-maker who also considers vaccine coverage and cost would focus resources on only the one most important disease.

"In a number of likely scenarios," Jacobson says, "our research indicates that one size does not fit all when it comes to the optimal size of the vaccine stockpiles." Depending on the relative importance of a disease, health officials may decide to maintain more or less than a six-month supply of vaccine.

According to Jacobson, the model also demonstrates that the vaccine stockpile could be used strategically to actively increase vaccine coverage or to protect society from disease outbreaks. He says, "At the beginning of an especially virulent disease outbreak, for example, it may even make sense to deplete the vaccine stockpile."

The researchers say that their approach could be modified to include other factors or conditions involved in decisions about vaccine stockpiles. One avenue to explore within the framework is the impact of a potential vaccine shortage in terms of the number of fatalities or QALYs (quality-adjusted life-years, which take into account both quantity and the quality of life generated by health care interventions). Another area of investigation, given the long-lasting effect of vaccination, is to extend the current model over multiple time periods.


'/>"/>

Contact: Joshua A. Chamot
jchamot@nsf.gov
703-292-7730
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Parents Want Electronic Access to Their Childrens Docs: Survey
2. New strategy produces promising advance in cancer vaccines
3. New Technology Could Widen Reach of Vaccines
4. Clues Found to How Different Flu Vaccines Work
5. New vaccines may come from forcing giardia parasite to display its many disguises
6. Response to vaccines could depend on your sex
7. Future HIV vaccines: If we build it, will they come?
8. H1N1 Protection in Coming Seasons Flu Vaccines: FDA
9. Boosting the efficacy of anticancer vaccines
10. UR discovers new way to boost vaccines, seeks patent
11. New human adenovirus may not make for good vaccines, after all
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... January 23, 2017 , ... ... with the American Society of Anesthesiologists® (ASA®), the Foundation for Anesthesia Education ... of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the Cigna Foundation, encourages proposals supporting high ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... January 23, 2017 , ... ... education programs and resources at seafoodnutrition.org/programs and seafoodnutrition.org/resources to assist in teaching ... diet. These resources have been developed for use by nutrition educators and ...
(Date:1/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... Phytocéane invites clients to take an exotic journey deep ... with ZANZIBAR MILKY CREAM. Inspired by the beauty of Zanzibar, a Tanzanian archipelago off ... moisturizing vegetal coral to create this gentle, velvety body cream to envelop the skin ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... ... January 21, 2017 , ... Caronlab Australia, an Australian company ... ECRM Trade Show in Hilton Head, SC, where it benefited from outstanding meetings with ... of its beauty and wellness products. At this trade show, the company had the ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... ... , ... Phytocéane invites you to take an exotic journey deep ... with ZANZIBAR SHOWER GEL. Inspired by the beauty of Zanzibar, a Tanzanian archipelago off ... vegetal coral to create this gentle, crystal-clear shower gel to cleanse the body and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/23/2017)... Varias proteínas clave que ... y el riesgo de diálisis están poco ...    Resverlogix Corp. ("Resverlogix" o "la compañía") ... ensayo en fase 1 con sede en Nueva Zelanda ... Los datos demostraron unos resultados importantes en la reducción ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... , January 23, 2017 The global  anxiety disorders ... billion by 2025. The rising incidence of depression worldwide is anticipated to drive ... has resulted in the declining demand for antidepressants in the recent years. ... ... Grand View Research Logo ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... 23, 2017 InDex Pharmaceuticals Holding AB (publ) ... 12th congress of the European Crohn,s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO). The ... specific focus on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The congress is held ... ... pleased to again having been selected to present data at the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: