32. The Role of Mathematical Models in Vaccine Development and Public Health Decision Making

  1. W. John W. Morrow PhD, DSc, FRCPath4,
  2. Nadeem A. Sheikh PhD5,
  3. Clint S. Schmidt PhD6 and
  4. D. Huw Davies PhD7
  1. Marie-Claude Boily PhD1,
  2. Marc Brisson PhD2,
  3. Benoit Mâsse PhD3 and
  4. Roy M. Anderson FRS, FMedSci1

Published Online: 20 JUN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118345313.ch32

Vaccinology: Principles and Practice

Vaccinology: Principles and Practice

How to Cite

Boily, M.-C., Brisson, M., Mâsse, B. and Anderson, R. M. (2012) The Role of Mathematical Models in Vaccine Development and Public Health Decision Making, in Vaccinology: Principles and Practice (eds W. J. W. Morrow, N. A. Sheikh, C. S. Schmidt and D. H. Davies), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118345313.ch32

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Seattle, WA, USA

  2. 5

    Dendreon Corporation, Seattle, WA, USA

  3. 6

    NovaDigm Therapeutics, Inc., Grand Forks, ND, USA

  4. 7

    University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Division of Epidemiology, Public Health and Primary Care, School of Public Health, London, UK

  2. 2

    Unité de Recherche en Santé des Populations, Centre de Recherche Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec du Centre Hospitalier affilié Universitaire de Québec, Canada

  3. 3

    Public Health Sciences Division, Biostatistics, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 JUN 2012
  2. Published Print: 3 AUG 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405185745

Online ISBN: 9781118345313



  • mathematical models;
  • vaccination;
  • cost-effectiveness;
  • clinical trial;
  • public health;
  • vaccine development;
  • trial design


Models are increasingly being used to address a wide range of issues in public health and disease control, and combined with economic analyses, to provide insights into the optimal design of mass vaccination programs. Models are also useful to inform vaccine trial design and analysis to help identify promising vaccine candidates. Simulating trials before implementation is a very valuable tool to maximize the likelihood of identifying the true efficacy of a candidate under field trial conditions. In this chapter, we summarize key principles governing the impact of vaccines on infectious disease transmission and discuss how an understanding of these principles can be used to optimize the design of mass or targeted vaccination programmes. We also discuss how economic factors can be incorporated into mathematical models of infectious agent transmission and intervention impact. Finally, we also introduce the more novel use of mathematical models at different stage of vaccine development and efficacy assessment.