REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS FOR PROJECTS RELATED TO QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH IN IMMUNIZATON
Modelling for Determining the Optimal Use of Limited Quantities of Pandemic Flu Vaccine
It is likely that the amount of vaccine that may be available for use in developing countries in the event of a flu pandemic will be insufficient to vaccinate the entire population at risk. In this situation, countries will need an evidence-based framework within which to structure decisions about the use of the vaccine - which groups should get the vaccine, in which order, according to various criteria that may be different within each country (eg, whether the goal is to protect infrastructure vs. limiting spread of the diseases, etc). Decisions about the use of vaccine will depend not only on the quantity of the vaccine available, but the protective characteristics of the vaccine, the population dynamics of the country considering use of the vaccine, and the severity and transmission dynamics of the strain of pandemic flu.
Mathematical models provide a useful framework in which to evaluate the potential impact of various immunization strategies where there are many unknowns, and developing these models ahead of time, with the capability to adapt them to a number of different potential scenarios, can provide a valuable tool to countries in their formulation of evidence-based plans of actions in the event of a possible pandemic. These models may also be helpful in identify optimal characteristics of a pandemic influenza vaccine.
Proposals are sought from individuals, institutions, or collaborative research groups to develop models (this can include the adaptation of existing models that the group has already developed - and this approach is preferred given the time frame) capable of providing country-specific evaluations of possible immunization options in the event of a pandemic, with the capacity to examine different scenarios by varying parameters such as:
- The characteristics (efficacy, potency, number of doses required) of the vaccine;
- The virulence, serverity, and transmissibility of the pandemic influenza strain;
- The objectives of the country (controlling transmission; protecting infrastructure; limiting morbidity/mortality; cost-effectiveness, etc).
- Other parameters as identified in the proposal.
The technical content of the proposal should be maximum 5 pages. It is expected that all the software code used to develop the models would be made publicly available, and successful grantees will be encouraged to publish their results in peer-reviewed journals.
The final deliverable model should clearly identify what country-specific data collection would be required to populate the models at the country level, by level of importance.
Approaches that are also generalizeable to consideration of the impact of seasonal vaccine, or that allow for consideration of seasonal vaccine as part of a control strategy for the use of pandemic vaccine are particularly welcomed.
Time Frame for work: Awards will be made in early October 2007. Work is expected to take approximately 6 months.
Budget: Award sizes are expected to range between $15,000 USD up to $100,000 USD.
It is expected that more than one award will be made in this category.