Workshop: A Brief Introduction to Vaccinology - from Biology to Acceptance

  •  Event:  A Brief Introduction to Vaccinology: From Biology to Acceptance – a half day workshop
  • When:  Thursday 10 July 2014
  • Time:  1 - 5 pm
  • Location: Teviot Lecture Theatre, Doorway 5, Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG
  • Tutor: Dr Saad Omer, Associate Professor of Global Health, Epidemiology & Pediatrics at Emory University, Schools of Public Health & Medicine, USA 
  •  Registration:  This is a FREE workshop, but please register your details at the link below 

Workshop description

The workshop is designed to develop understanding of epidemiological, biological and applied aspects of commonly used vaccines and vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) of public health importance.

  • Lecture 1: Introduction to vaccines - basic concepts of vaccines and immunizations plus introduction to the major categories/types of vaccines available and/or in advanced stages of development

  • Lecture 2: Immunological basis of vaccine effects - reviewing core concepts in immunology related to vaccines e.g. innate and adaptive (humoral and cellular) immunity, immune memory, and immunological correlates of protection

  • Lecture 3: Vaccine Hesitancy and Acceptance - covering the burden of reason for vaccine refusal and hesitancy. Potential evidence based approaches to reducing vaccine hesitancy will also be discussed

About the speaker

Dr. Omer is is currently a visiting researcher at  the Centre for Population Health Sciences at the Unveirsty of Edinburgh.  He is an Associate Professor of Global Health, Epidemiology, & Pediatrics at Emory University, Schools of Public Health and Medicine.  He is also a faculty member at the Emory Vaccine Center and an affiliate investigator at Kaiser Permanente -Georgia. He has conducted multiple studies – including vaccine trials – in Guatemala, Uganda, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa, and the United States.

Dr. Omer’s research portfolio includes clinical and field trials to estimate efficacy and/or immunogenicity of influenza, polio, measles and pneumococcal vaccines; studies on the impact of spatial clustering of vaccine refusers; and clinical trials to evaluate drug regimens to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV. He has conducted several studies to evaluate the roles of schools, parents, health care providers, and state-level legislation in relation to immunization coverage and disease incidence.

Dr. Omer has over 100 publications in peer reviewed journals.  His research has been published in high impact scientific journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, the Lancet, British Medical Journal, Pediatrics, American Journal of Public Health, and American Journal of Epidemiology.

Pregnant women, fetuses, and young infants are high risk groups for morbidity and mortality after influenza infection.  Dr. Omer was first to document the effect of influenza immunization in pregnancy in preventing pre-term and small for gestational age births.  He was one of the investigators who, for the first time, demonstrated that vaccinating pregnant women against influenza protects their infants against this disease.  These findings formed the evidence base for national recommendations in multiple countries and for the WHO’s recent recommendation for global introduction of influenza vaccination –particularly among pregnant women. Dr. Omer was first to demonstrate that spatial clustering of vaccine refusers is associated with outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases. This work and other related studies influenced laws and policies in multiple states in the United States.

In 2009, Dr Omer was awarded the Maurice Hilleman award in vaccinology by the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases on his work on impact of maternal influenza immunization on respiratory illness in infants younger than 6 months- for whom there is no vaccine.  He has also received the young investigator award from the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society and the Program Committee Choice Award from the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

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