NIHR EPIC

NIHR Global Health Research Group on Evidence to Policy pathway to Immunisation in China

Programme summary

We conduct applied vaccine research to help decision makers in China build a vaccination programme that ensures reliable, affordable, equitable and uninterrupted supply of vaccines to the Chinese population.

Start and end date

01 Aug 2017  to 31 Jul 2020

Aims

In China, many newer vaccines are not centrally funded, so people pay for them out-of-pocket. China is investigating whether to increase the range of vaccines that are fully funded by central government. This will require a lot of money and manufacturing capacity to supply China’s large population. Hence, authorities in China need evidence of the potential health benefits, budget impact and value for money of investments in funding new vaccines. In addition, sufficient and reliable public demand needs to be assured so that local manufacturers will ensure a reliable and uninterrupted vaccine supply. Maintaining public confidence in vaccines in the face of concerns around vaccine safety is also important.

The Evidence to Policy pathway to Immunisation in China (EPIC) is a Global Health Research Group that brings four British and Chinese public health and academic partners: the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Public Health England (PHE), Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) and Fudan University (Fudan). EPIC’s structure is inspired by the NIHR-funded Health Protection Research Unit in Immunisation, in which LSHTM and PHE jointly conduct research to inform UK vaccine policy.

Together, we conduct applied vaccine research that will help decision makers in China build a vaccination programme that ensures reliable, affordable, equitable and uninterrupted supply of vaccines to the Chinese population.

Our work spans three themes:

  • collecting and analysing data about health and economic consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases in China,
  • understanding vaccine supply, demand and decision making among the public, manufacturers and key stakeholders, and
  • using findings from themes (i) and (ii) in mathematical models to project the health and economic impact that vaccine introduction could have, particularly among the groups with the worst health. We will focus research around vaccines that are of most interest to decision makers, but are not currently centrally funded.

EPIC will be a collaboration between the UK and China involving reciprocal exchanges of staff. Scientists in China draw on British expertise as they design studies to collect and analyse data. Chinese PhD students and visiting scientists come to LSHTM and PHE and are supervised by UK experts to conduct analyses and build models. British scientists work with teams in China to gain a deep understanding of vaccine epidemiology, data collection and policy making in China. Findings will be presented to key groups in China responsible for making decisions about vaccine delivery.

We aim for EPIC to inspire similar models of research to inform immunisation policy elsewhere in Asia. We will publicise key insights from this collaborative work widely, and hold workshops in Asia towards the end of the grant to share lessons learnt with other Asian countries. Through these channels, we will invite partners outside China to explore funding opportunities to establish similar models in other countries.

Partners and collaborators

Chinese Center for Disease Control & Prevention, China and Fudan University, China

Public Health England

Comments are closed.