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WHO Geneva Intern Summaries

Product Development for Vaccines Advisory Committee (PDVAC) for IVB Group Project

Samantha Nava

The WHO Product Development for Vaccines Advisory Committee (PD-VAC) was established to provide strategic advice and recommendations to WHO in relation to vaccines in clinical development with an emphasis in lower and middle income countries. The PDVAC committee meets annually to discuss the status of vaccines in disease areas in low and middle income countries with high burden. The committee meets to discuss disease areas with no current vaccine established but some candidates in the vaccine development pipeline. The committee will identify any factors that could benefit from WHO recommendations in regards to the development of these products and streamline clinical data. For 2016, 13 disease areas were presented and discussed.


Specific tasks I was assigned:
- Preparation and finalization of the PDVAC agenda, including a list of topics, speakers, and key points to be addressed
- Research into product development activities for H.pylori, C.difficile, and EV71
- Preparation of materials for the PDVAC meeting. Powerpoint presentations, literature analyses, and background documents
- Proof-reading and final approval of meeting materials
- Observing and recording the major points during the PDVAC meeting
- Assist with writing and organizing final report for the consultation
- Update and maintenance of the PDVAC website


Department of Global Capacieities, Alert, and Response (GCR)

Daniele Swetnam

The WHO Risk Assessment and Surveillance (RAS) team is responsible for epidemiological intelligence, ehcih identies and verifies information related to ongoing or potentially new outbreaks. RAS coordinates with WHO technical teams and regional counterparts to (1) verify the information and (2) assess the risk associated with the information. The team also disseminates information within WHO by facilitating briefings with the technical teams twice a week and summarizing the major investigations in weekly reports to the WHO's Deputy General.

My primary role as an intern was to monitor media reports for information relating to ongoing or potentially new outbreaks using a program called the Hazard Detection and Risk Assessment System (HDRAS). Articles are flagged for follow up and verification requests are sent to the regional offices and technical team to determine the size, scope and veracity of the report. I also gathered contextual information (including climate, health infrrastructure, demographics, vector competences, ecology, security) from scientific literature and websites.

Leveraging Current VPD Surveillance Networks to Monitor Additional Diseases

Benjamin Satterfield

WHO has global surveillance networks for Polio, Measles/Rubella, Influenza, Rotavirus, and Invasive Bacterial Diseases. These networks are designed to monitor the presence of these vaccine preventable diseases both pre- and post- vaccine introduction as well as changes that occur in the genotypes/serotypes of these pathogens over time. There has been interest in utilizing these surveillance networks to monitor additional diseases for which there are currently vaccines available or for which vaccines are expected to be available within the next decade. My project involved analyzing data from the current networks, as well as determining the requirements of expanding the Rotavirus and Invasive Bacterial Diseases global surveillance networks to include additional diseases in the future based on the additional of expanded case definitions, diagnostics, and clinical cases seen at the sentinel site hospitals in the networks.

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