News Release

Estimating the effectiveness of vaccination programs

Peer-Reviewed Publication


In this week's PLoS Medicine, Justin Lessler of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA and colleagues describe a method that estimates the fraction of a population accessible to vaccination activities, and apply it to measles vaccination in three African countries: Ghana, Madagascar, and Sierra Leone. Their estimates can be used to identify countries where problems in vaccine delivery may exist, thereby providing important operational guidance on how to improve vaccine coverage.

The authors comment: "Here we have introduced a method by which administrative coverage estimates can be combined with a cross-sectional survey to estimate the effectiveness of vaccination programs. This method not only attempts to correct coverage estimates, but distinguishes between issues of overall coverage and vaccine wastage within vaccination activities."


Funding: The work of JL, CJEM, DATC, and BTG on this project was funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Vaccine Modeling Initiative, 705580-3). BTG and DATC were also supported by the RAPIDD program of the Science & Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security, and the Fogarty International Center, US National Institutes of Health, and by grant NIH R01 GM083983-01. DATC holds a Career Award at the Scientific Interface from the Burroughs Welcome Fund. CJEM is funded by the Royal Society. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Citation: Lessler J, Metcalf CJE, Grais RF, Luquero FJ, Cummings DAT, et al. (2011) Measuring the Performance of Vaccination Programs Using Cross-Sectional Surveys: A Likelihood Framework and Retrospective Analysis. PLoS Med 8(10): e1001110. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001110


Justin Lessler


Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
615 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21205
United States of America
+1 410-955-3551

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