Jon Kim Andrus
, Washington, D.C.

Epidemiology, International and Humanitarian Medicine, Primary Care

MD
39.88

Publications

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    ABSTRACT: The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) created the ProVac Initiative in 2004 with the goal of strengthening national technical capacity to make evidence-based decisions on new vaccine introduction, focusing on economic evaluations. In view of the 10th anniversary of the ProVac Initiative, this article describes its progress and reflects on lessons learned to guide the next phase. We quantified the output of the Initiative's capacity-building efforts and critically assess its progress toward achieving the milestones originally proposed in 2004. Additionally, we reviewed how country studies supported by ProVac have directly informed and strengthened the deliberations around new vaccine introduction. Since 2004, ProVac has conducted four regional workshops and supported 24 health economic analyses in 15 Latin American and Caribbean countries. Five Regional Centers of Excellence were funded, resulting in six operational research projects and nine publications. Twenty four decisions on new vaccine introductions were supported with ProVac studies. Enduring products include the TRIVAC and CERVIVAC cost-effectiveness models, the COSTVAC program costing model, methodological guides, workshop training materials and the OLIVES on-line data repository. Ten NITAGs were strengthened through ProVac activities. The evidence accumulated suggests that initiatives with emphasis on sustainable training and direct support for countries to generate evidence themselves, can help accelerate the introduction of the most valuable new vaccines. International and Regional Networks of Collaborators are necessary to provide technical support and tools to national teams conducting analyses. Timeliness, integration, quality and country ownership of the process are four necessary guiding principles for national economic evaluations to have an impact on policymaking. It would be an asset to have a model that offers different levels of complexity to choose from depending on the vaccine being evaluated, the availability of data, and the time frame of the decision. Decision support for new vaccine introduction in low- and middle-income countries is critical to maximizing the efficiency and impact of vaccination programs. Global technical cooperation will be required. In the future, PAHO and WHO have an opportunity to expand the reach of the ProVac philosophy, models, and methods to additional regions and countries requiring real-time support. The ProVac Global Initiative is proposed as an effective mechanism to do so. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Vaccine 05/2015; 33. DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.12.080 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pan American Health Organization's (PAHO) ProVac Initiative aims to strengthen countries' technical capacity to make evidence-based immunization policy. With financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, PAHO established the ProVac International Working Group (IWG), a platform created for two years to transfer the ProVac Initiative's tools and methods to support decisions in non-PAHO regions. In 2011, WHO Regional Offices and partner agencies established the IWG to transfer the ProVac framework for new vaccine decision support, including tools and trainings to other regions of the world. During the two year period, PAHO served as the coordinating secretariat and partner agencies played implementing or advisory roles. Fifty nine national professionals from 17 countries received training on the use of economic evaluations to aid vaccine policy making through regional workshops. The IWG provided direct technical support to nine countries to develop cost-effectiveness analyses to inform decisions. All nine countries introduced the new vaccine evaluated or their NITAGs have made a recommendation to the Ministry of Health to introduce the new vaccine. Developing countries around the world are increasingly interested in weighing the potential health impact due to new vaccine introduction against the investments required. During the two years, the ProVac approach proved valuable and timely to aid the national decision making processes, even despite the different challenges and idiosyncrasies encountered in each region. The results of this work suggest that: (1) there is great need and demand for technical support and for capacity building around economic evaluations; and (2) the ProVac method of supporting country-owned analyses is as effective in other regions as it has been in the PAHO region. Decision support for new vaccine introduction in low- and middle-income countries is critical to guiding the efficient use of resources and prioritizing high impact vaccination programs. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Vaccine 05/2015; 33. DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.10.090 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract BACKGROUND: Congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) case identification is challenging in older children since laboratory markers of congenital rubella virus (RUBV) infection do not persist beyond age 12 months. METHODS: We enrolled children with CRS born between 1998 and 2003 and compared their immune responses to RUBV with those of their mothers and a group of similarly aged children without CRS. Demographic data and sera were collected. Sera were tested for anti-RUBV immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgG avidity, and IgG response to the 3 viral structural proteins (E1, E2, and C), reflected by immunoblot fluorescent signals. RESULTS: We enrolled 32 children with CRS, 31 mothers, and 62 children without CRS. The immunoblot signal strength to C and the ratio of the C signal to the RUBV-specific IgG concentration were higher (P < .029 for both) and the ratio of the E1 signal to the RUBV-specific IgG concentration lower (P = .001) in children with CRS, compared with their mothers. Compared with children without CRS, children with CRS had more RUBV-specific IgG (P < .001), a stronger C signal (P < .001), and a stronger E2 signal (P ≤ .001). Two classification rules for children with versus children without CRS gave 100% specificity with >65% sensitivity. CONCLUSIONS: This study was the first to establish classification rules for identifying CRS in school-aged children, using laboratory biomarkers. These biomarkers should allow improved burden of disease estimates and monitoring of CRS control programs.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 10/2014; 212(1). DOI:10.1093/infdis/jiu604 · 5.78 Impact Factor
  • Jon Kim Andrus
    Vaccine 08/2014; 32(42). DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.08.002 · 3.49 Impact Factor
  • Jon K Andrus · Georges C Benjamin · Jeffey Wilson
  • Jon K Andrus · Georges C Benjamin · Jeffrey Wilson
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    ABSTRACT: Deployment of oral cholera vaccine (OCV) on the Island of Hispaniola has been considered since the emergence of the disease in October of 2010. At that time, emergency response focused on the time-tested measures of treatment to prevent deaths and sanitation to diminish transmission. Use of the limited amount of vaccine available in the global market was recommended for demonstration activities, which were carried out in 2012. As transmission continues, vaccination was recommended in Haiti as one component of a comprehensive initiative supported by an international coalition to eliminate cholera on the Island of Hispaniola. Leveraging its delivery to strengthen other cholera prevention measures and immunization services, a phased OCV introduction is pursued in accordance with global vaccine supply. Not mutually exclusive or sequential deployment options include routine immunization for children over the age of 1 year and campaigns in vulnerable metropolitan areas or rural areas with limited access to health services.
    The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 10/2013; 89(4):682-687. DOI:10.4269/ajtmh.13-0200 · 2.74 Impact Factor
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    The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 10/2013; 89(4):615-616. DOI:10.4269/ajtmh.13-0510 · 2.74 Impact Factor
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    Jon Kim Andrus · Ciro A de Quadros
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    ABSTRACT: Effective management and coordination in regions currently lacking surveillance capacity will require significant increases in existing human resources to manage vitally needed expanded national surveillance systems. An adequate investment in human resources and infrastructure capacity is essential for ensuring surveillance functions well. This was the experience in the Americas, particularly with the recent elimination of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome. By taking this path, other benefits to the overall public health of the nations will occur. The purpose of this paper is to present perspectives on the role of surveillance in the elimination of rubella in the Americas and to share related perspectives on capacity development in developing countries. Hopefully, these perspectives will aid efforts to strengthen surveillance and advance rubella elimination in other regions of the world.
    Expert Review of Vaccines 09/2013; 12(9):989-93. DOI:10.1586/14760584.2013.841435 · 4.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In 2007, the World Health Organization published the Global Framework for Immunization Monitoring and Surveillance (GFIMS) outlining measures to enhance national surveillance for vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs). The GFIMS emphasized that VPD surveillance should be integrated and placed in a ‘unified framework’ building upon the strengths of existing surveillance systems to prevent duplication of activities common to all surveillance systems and to minimize human resource and supply expenditures. Unfortunately, there was little experience in actually developing integrated VPD surveillance. We describe the process of developing operational guidance for ministries of health to implement such an integrated surveillance system for multiple VPDs.
    Vaccine 07/2013; 31:C94–C98. DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.05.034 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    Jon K. Andrus · Damian G. Walker
    Vaccine 07/2013; 31:C2–C3. DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.05.074 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Countries in Latin America were among the first developing countries to introduce new vaccines, particularly rotavirus (RV) and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs), into their national immunization schedules. Experiences and lessons learned from these countries are valuable to donors, immunization partners, and policy makers in other countries wishing to make informed decisions on vaccine introduction.Objectives In order to enhance knowledge and promote understanding of the process of new vaccine introduction in the Latin American Region, with particular focus on RV and PCV, we conducted a systematic qualitative assessment. We evaluated the decision-making process, documented the structure in place, and reviewed key factors pertaining to new vaccine introduction. These include country morbidity and mortality data available prior to vaccine introduction, funding sources and mechanisms for vaccine introduction, challenges of implementation, and assessment of vaccine impact.Methods From March 2010 to April 2011, we evaluated a subset of countries that had introduced RV and/or PCV in the past five years through interviews with key informants at the country level and through a systematic review of published data, gray literature, official technical documents, and country-specific health indicators. Countries evaluated were Bolivia, Brazil, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela.ResultsIn all countries, the potential of new vaccines to reduce mortality, as established by Millennium Development Goal 4, was an important consideration leading to vaccine introduction. Several factors—the availability of funds, the existence of sufficient evidence for vaccine introduction, and the feasibility of sustainable financing—were identified as crucial components of the decision-making process in the countries evaluated.Conclusions The decision making process regarding new vaccine introduction in the countries evaluated does not follow a systematic approach. Nonetheless, existing evidence on efficacy, potential impact, and cost-effectiveness of vaccine introduction, even if not local data, was important in the decision making process for vaccine introduction.
    Vaccine 07/2013; 31:C114–C122. DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.05.032 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background The Pan American Health Organization's ProVac Initiative, designed to strengthen national decision making regarding the introduction of new vaccines, was initiated in 2004. Central to realizing ProVac's vision of regional capacity building, the ProVac Network of Centers of Excellence (CoEs) was established in 2010 to provide research support to the ProVac Initiative, leveraging existing capacity at Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) universities. We describe the process of establishing the ProVac Network of CoEs and its initial outcomes and challenges.MethodsA survey was sent to academic, not-for-profit institutions in LAC that had recently published work in the areas of clinical decision sciences and health economic analysis. Centers invited to join the Network were selected by an international committee on the basis of the survey results. Selection criteria included academic productivity in immunization-related work, team size and expertise, successful collaboration with governmental agencies and international organizations, and experience in training and education. The Network currently includes five academic institutions across LAC.ResultsThrough open dialog and negotiation, specific projects were assigned to centers according to their areas of expertise. Collaboration among centers was highly encouraged. Faculty from ProVac's technical partners were assigned as focal points for each project. The resulting work led to the development and piloting of tools, methodological guides, and training materials that support countries in assessing existing evidence and generating new evidence on vaccine introduction. The evidence generated is shared with country-level decision makers and the scientific community.Conclusions As the ProVac Initiative expands to other regions of the world with support from immunization and public health partners, the establishment of other regional and global networks of CoEs will be critical. The experience of LAC in creating the current network could benefit the formation of similar structures that support evidence-based decisions regarding new public health interventions.
    Vaccine 07/2013; 31:C12–C18. DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.05.033 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The TRIVAC decision support model has been used widely in Latin America and other regions to help national teams evaluate the cost-effectiveness of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) and rotavirus vaccine (RV). We describe the structure and functioning of this model, and identify the parameters with the greatest influence on the results.The TRIVAC model is a spreadsheet software program that calculates incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) and other indicators for three childhood vaccines (Hib, PCV and RV) utilising parameters such as demography, disease burden, vaccine costs, vaccine coverage, vaccine efficacy, health service utilisation and costs. There is a good deal of uncertainty about the local values of many of the parameters that have most influence on the cost-effectiveness of these new vaccines. Cost-effectiveness models can be used to explore the implications of different values of these parameters. However, for such models to be seen as relevant and helpful by decision-makers, they need to be transparent, flexible, easy to use, and embedded in a process which is owned and led by national teams.In this paper the key drivers of cost-effectiveness in the model are identified by one-way sensitivity analyses, run for each vaccine in 147 countries. The data used are mainly from standard international sources and the published literature. The primary indicator was the discounted cost per Disability Adjusted Life-Year (DALY) averted, from a government perspective, over a 20-year period (2013–2032). For all three vaccines, the ICER was most sensitive to changes in relative coverage (the coverage of the children who would have become diseased or, more importantly, died if the population had not been vaccinated, as a % of overall national coverage) and the herd effect multiplier. Other influential parameters for all three vaccines were: the incidence and case fatality of disease, the baseline trend in disease mortality in the absence of vaccination, vaccine efficacy, vaccine price and the % decline in vaccine price per year. Important vaccine-specific parameters included the cost of Hib meningitis sequelae, PCV serotype coverage and the rotavirus gastro-enteritis (RVGE) admission rate. While vaccine efficacy, herd effects, disease mortality and vaccine price are commonly cited as important drivers of cost-effectiveness, this analysis highlights the potentially important influence of relative coverage, a parameter rarely considered in models of vaccine impact and cost-effectiveness.
    Vaccine 07/2013; 31:C19–C29. DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.05.045 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 06/2013; 7(6):e2021. DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002021 · 4.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To characterize the prevalence and distribution of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) types among women in Jamaica, and to explore risk factors associated with HPV infection. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study that took place in April-July 2010 with 852 sexually-active women, 16-49 years of age, who had attended a selected public or private primary health clinic in one of Jamaica's four health authority regions. Sociodemographic data was collected from each participant by trained study staff. Each participant had a gynecological examination that included a clinical Pap test and a cervical sample for HPV detection and typing-performed using the Research Use Only Linear Array (LA) genotyping assay (Roche Diagnostics Corp., Indianapolis, Indiana, United States). Overall and type-specific prevalence of HPV infection was calculated for 37 HPV types included in the LA genotyping assay. RESULTS: HPV DNA was detected in 460 of the 852 women (54.0%). Oncogenic HPV was detected in 297 women (34.9%) and HPV types 16/18 were found in 86 women (10.1%). The most frequently occurring HPV types were: 16 (6.2%); 35 (6.0%); 62 and 83 (5.5%); 61 and 58 (5.4%); 84 (4.7%); 18 (4.3%); and, 66 and 81 (4.2%). HPV prevalence was highest among women who were single, young (16-19 years), and had had more than three sexual partners in their lifetime. CONCLUSIONS: These results, coupled with high rates of cervical cancer, support introducing HPV vaccines while maintaining and strengthening cervical cancer screening services. Policy decisionmaking that reflects these results is instrumental to establishing a comprehensive cervical cancer program in Jamaica.
    Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública 03/2013; 33(3):159-165. DOI:10.1590/S1020-49892013000300001 · 0.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Governments have the authority and responsibility to ensure vaccination for all citizens. The development of vaccination legislation in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) parallels the emergence of sustainable, relatively autonomous, and effective national immunization programs. We reviewed vaccination legislation and related legal documents from LAC countries (excluding Canada, Puerto Rico, the United States, and the US Virgin Islands), and described and assessed vaccination legislation provisions. Twenty-seven of the 44 countries and territories in the Region have proposed or enacted vaccination legislation. Provisions vary substantially, but legal frameworks generally protect the sustainability of the immunization program, the individual's right to immunization, and the state's responsibility to provide it as a public good. Of the legislation from countries and territories included in the analysis, 44 per cent protects a budget line for vaccines, 96 per cent mandates immunization, 63 per cent declares immunization a public good, and 78 per cent explicitly defines the national vaccine schedule. We looked for associations between vaccination legislation in LAC and national immunization program performance and financing, and conclude with lessons for governments seeking to craft or enhance vaccination legislation.
    Journal of Public Health Policy 01/2013; 34(1):82-99. DOI:10.1057/jphp.2012.66 · 1.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: New vaccines have been demonstrated to be effective in reducing morbidity and mortality, particularly in children, but come at increased costs to societies, governments, and their national immunization programs compared with other traditional childhood vaccines. Rational allocation of available resources requires systematic collection of the evidence base to decide whether to introduce a new vaccine, an important component of which is cost-effectiveness analysis. In this article, we develop in-depth case studies to examine the country experience of conducting cost-effectiveness analysis with the support of Pan American Health Organization ProVac Initiative and the implications of its process for decision making on new vaccine introduction in Latin America and the Caribbean. Key lessons regarding how cost-effectiveness analysis may be effectively used to inform evidence-based immunization policy are highlighted, drawing from the experience of Nicaragua and Paraguay. Based on the lessons identified, the vision going forward will focus on promoting the sustainability of multidisciplinary country teams while continuing to prioritize capacity development as an overarching guiding principle for preparing countries to face future new vaccine policy decisions.
    12/2012; 1(2):248–253. DOI:10.1016/j.vhri.2012.10.003
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the duration of protection of pentavaent rotavirus vaccine (RV5) against rotavirus hospitalizations in Nicaragua, a developing country in Central America. We conducted a case-control study at 4 hospitals from 2007 through 2010, including 1016 children hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed rotavirus diarrhea, 4930 controls with nonrotavirus diarrhea (ie, "test-negative"), and 5627 controls without diarrhea. All cases and controls were aged ≥ 6 months and born after August 2006. Outcomes included odds of antecedent vaccination between case-patients and controls, and effectiveness of vaccination (1 - adjusted odds ratio [OR] × 100). Duration of protection was assessed by comparing effectiveness among children aged <1 year compared with ≥ 1 year. Indicators of socioeconomic conditions and nonrotavirus vaccination (oral polio vaccine and diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis/hepatitis A/hepatitis B) for test-negative controls were more comparable to the rotavirus case-patients than nondiarrhea controls. RV5 vaccination was associated with a significantly lower risk of rotavirus hospitalization by using test-negative controls (OR: 0.55; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.41-0.74) and nondiarrhea controls (OR: 0.30; 95% CI: 0.22-0.40). Risk of rotavirus hospitalization was twofold lower among RV5 vaccinated children aged <1 year (OR: 0.36; 95% CI: 0.22-0.57) compared with RV5 vaccinated children aged ≥ 1 year (OR: 0.70; 95% CI: 0.47-1.05). RV5 provided good protection against severe rotavirus disease in Nicaragua during the first year of life, when most severe and fatal rotavirus disease in developing countries occurs. However, the decline in protection with age warrants monitoring of disease among older children and consideration of a booster dose evaluation at the end of infancy.
    PEDIATRICS 07/2012; 130(2):e365-72. DOI:10.1542/peds.2011-3478 · 5.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: With the recent postlicensure identification of an increased risk of intussusception with rotavirus vaccine, the 14 Latin American countries currently using rotavirus vaccine must now weigh the health benefits versus risks to assess whether to continue vaccination. To inform policy considerations, we estimated excess intussusception cases and mortality potentially caused by rotavirus vaccine for each of the 14 countries and compared these estimates to hospitalizations and deaths expected to be averted through vaccination. We used regional rotavirus disease burden and rotavirus vaccine efficacy data, global natural intussusception and regional rotavirus vaccine-related risk estimates, and country-specific diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussus vaccination coverage rates to estimate rotavirus vaccine coverage rates. We performed a probabilistic sensitivity analysis to account for uncertainty in these parameters. For an aggregate hypothetical birth cohort of 9.5 million infants in these 14 countries, rotavirus vaccine would annually prevent 144 746 (90% confidence interval [CI], 128 821-156 707) hospitalizations and 4124 deaths (90% CI, 3740-4239) due to rotavirus in their first 5 years of life but could cause an additional 172 hospitalizations (90% CI, 126-293) and 10 deaths (90% CI, 6-17) due to intussusception, yielding benefit-risk ratios for hospitalization and death of 841:1 (90% CI, 479:1 to 1142:1) and 395:1 (90% CI, 207:1 to 526:1), respectively. In an uncertainty analysis using 10 000 simulations of our probabilistic parameters, in comparing rotavirus disease averted to intussusception events caused, the hospitalization ratio was never below 100:1, and our death ratio fell below 100:1 only once. The health benefits of vaccination far outweigh the short-term risks and support continued rotavirus vaccination in Latin America.
    Clinical Infectious Diseases 03/2012; 54(10):1397-405. DOI:10.1093/cid/cis191 · 9.42 Impact Factor

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