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Vaccine. 2019 Mar 18. pii: S0264-410X(19)30265-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.02.058. [Epub ahead of print]

Research priorities for accelerating progress toward measles and rubella elimination identified by a cross-sectional web-based survey.

Author information

1
Accelerated Disease Control and Surveillance Branch, Global Immunization Division, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA. Electronic address: JKriss@cdc.gov.
2
Accelerated Disease Control and Surveillance Branch, Global Immunization Division, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.
3
Department of Epidemiology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.
4
School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Australia.
5
Immunization Systems Branch, Global Immunization Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.
6
Viral Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch, Division of Viral Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.
7
Hubert Department of Global Health and Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
8
Immunisation and Vaccine Development Program, Regional Office for Africa, World Health Organization, Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo.
9
Expanded Programme on Immunization, Department of Immunization, Vaccines, and Biologicals, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
10
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In 2012, the World Health Assembly endorsed the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) that set a target to eliminate measles and rubella in five of the six World Health Organization (WHO) regions by 2020. Significant progress has been made toward achieving this goal through intensive efforts by countries and Measles & Rubella Initiative (M&RI) partners. Accelerating progress will require evidence-based approaches to improve implementation of the core strategies in the Global Measles and Rubella Strategic Plan. The M&RI Research and Innovation Working Group (R&IWG) conducted a web-based survey as part of a process to identify measles and rubella research priorities. Survey findings were used to inform discussions during a meeting of experts convened by the M&RI at the Pan American Health Organization in November 2016.

METHODS:

The cross-sectional web-based survey of scientific and programmatic experts included questions in four main topic areas: (1) epidemiology and economics (epidemiology); (2) new tools for surveillance, vaccine delivery, and laboratory testing (new tools); (3) immunization strategies and outbreak response (strategies); and (4) vaccine demand and communications (demand). Analyses were stratified by the six WHO regions and by global, regional, or national/sub-national level of respondents.

RESULTS:

The six highest priority research questions selected by survey respondents from the four topic areas were the following: (1) What are the causes of outbreaks in settings with high reported vaccination coverage? (epidemiology); (2) Can affordable diagnostic tests be developed to confirm measles and rubella cases rapidly and accurately at the point of care? (new tools); (3) What are effective strategies for increasing coverage of the routine first dose of measles vaccine administered at 9 or 12 months? (strategies); (4) What are effective strategies for increasing coverage of the second dose given after the first year of life? (strategies); (5) How can communities best be engaged in planning, implementing and monitoring health services including vaccinations? (demand); (6) What capacity building is needed for health workers to be able to identify and work more effectively with community leaders? (demand). Research priorities varied by region and by global/regional/national levels for all topic areas.

CONCLUSIONS:

Research and innovation will be critical to make further progress toward achieving the GVAP measles and rubella elimination goals. The results of this survey can be used to inform decision-making for investments in research activities at the global, regional, and national levels.

KEYWORDS:

Elimination; Measles; Priorities; Research; Rubella

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