The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new attention to the critical importance of vaccines in preventing and controlling communicable diseases. The unprecedented speed of development, from the first documented cases to the deployment of safe and effective vaccines in less than one year, has only been possible because of the deep expertise and training in all areas of science and public health that the Yale School of Public Health and its peer institutions have fostered for generations.
Since the first mass-vaccination programs of the early 20th century, researchers at the Yale School of Public Health have made innumerable contributions to vaccines for polio, measles, Lyme disease, HPV, influenza and more.
Our interdisciplinary approach features experts in fundamental science such as immunology; microbial evolution and genetics; clinical trials; epidemiology of disease transmission and surveillance; policy, regulation and pricing; modeling; vaccine effectiveness and impact, and equity in delivery to communities in the United States to communities around the world, as well as ethics and hesitancy around vaccines and vaccination programs.
Faculty work closely with public health practitioners and policy-makers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance on many of these issues. Additionally, YSPH assists in evaluating the work of federal agencies such as the FDA and CDC and their international counterparts, as well as Connecticut’s state and local health departments.
Practice and community-based research and initiatives
The CT Emerging Infection Program at the Yale School of Public Health is one of 10 CDC-funded surveillance sites in the United States. Its work on influenza and HPV are critical components in measuring the impact, efficacy and uptake of these vaccines in the State of Connecticut.
Additionally, the Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE) and the CDC-funded Prevention Research Center (PRC) work with local communities to facilitate access to annual influenza-vaccination campaigns.
The Global Health Leadership Institute serves as the monitoring and evaluation partner for Project Last Mile in its effort to reach remote and rural communities in Africa with vaccines, medicines and supplies. An example of this can be seen in Nigeria, where YSPH and partners, including Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, USAID, the Global Fund, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, translate approaches to refrigeration maintenance to ensure that vaccine cold chains are reliable.