Title: Advanced Vaccinology (not offered in the academic year 2018/2019)
Keywords: Medical & Clinical sciences
Drugs and vaccines
Biomedical sciences/disciplines
Country: Germany
Institution: Germany - Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Berlin
Course coordinator: Dr. Carine Dochez
About duration and dates: 2 weeks + 2 days for writing an academic essay after the module
Classification: advanced optional
Mode of delivery: Face to face
Course location:
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
Campus Virchow Klinikum
Augustenburger Platz 1
D-13353 Berlin-Wedding
ECTS credit points: 3.5 ECTS credits
SIT: 105 hours (67 hours in-class, 15 hours assignment, 23 hours self-study)
Language: English
At the end of the module, participants will be able to:

- formulate a state-of-the-art update on recent global developments in the field of vaccinology including the introduction of new vaccines, new financing initiatives and related policy issues;
- construct the vaccine continuum from vaccine development, evaluation and regulatory principles to production and licensure;
- compare basic epidemiological, ethical and regulatory issues related to the assessment of vaccine efficacy and effectiveness in different world regions;
- appraise issues of public confidence in vaccination programs;
- assess economic aspects of vaccination programs;
- assist health professionals in designing, planning, and implementing immunization programmes (with a strong focus on developing countries);
- detect, evaluate and manage adverse events following immunization;
- appraise cold chain and logistical issues related to immunization programmes.
Assessment Procedures:
Presentation of group work, contributing 20% to the overall grade.
Two hours closed-book written examination, contributing 40% to the overall grade. The pass mark is 60%.
Written 2000 words academic essay on a self-defined topic relevant to vaccines and immunization any low or middle income country - to be submitted within one month after the end of the course, contributing 40% to the overall grade.
Students must pass the written examination.
In case of failure students are offered a re-sit written examination within 2 weeks and 2 months after the original exam, and/or a second essay on a predefined topic within 4 weeks after marking the original essay, depending on the type of assessment the student has failed.
A second re-sit is allowed but may be linked to conditions set by the Committee of Admissions and Degrees.
The content of this module extends and deepens the content offered as basic vaccinology during the core course. A small proportion of the teaching is used for revision of basic concepts.
- Immunology relevant to vaccinology including herd immunity concepts;
- Key bacterial and viral vaccine preventable diseases;
- Vaccine types and recent developments in the field;
- Epidemiology of clinical trials, vaccine efficacy and effectiveness, including ethical issues in industrialized and developing countries;
- Vaccine development, registration and production;
- Excursion to national public health institute overseeing Germany’s vaccination program;
- Global immunization programmes e.g. EPI, polio eradication, neonatal tetanus and measles elimination;
- Immunization schedules for children and other age groups;
- Comprehensive planning and implementation of immunization programmes based on country experiences;
- Monitoring, reporting and management of adverse events following immunization;
- Immunization surveillance (coverage, effectiveness);
- Vaccine procurement, logistics and cold chain management;
- Immunization financing and global vaccine market developments;
- Vaccine advocacy and communication;
- Future developments related to vaccines and immunization.
- Introduction (1 hour) to make students familiar with the setting and the group.
- Seminar-style lectures (43) to introduce students into the various topics, exercises (4) to consolidate the new knowledge and skills, group work (9) to promote synthetic skills, excursion (3) to experience a vaccination program in practice.
- Assessment by presentation of group work (4), written examination (2), essay (15).
- Evaluation (1) for quality assurance of the module.
- Self-study (23) to complement and review the learned contents.
Medical doctors and other health professionals with interest and experience in vaccinology.
If not a native speaker: Internationally recognised English proficiency certificate equivalent to a TOEFL score of 550 paper/213 internet/80 online, or IELTS score 6, or DAAD (A or B in all categories). tropEd students need to provide proof of registration as tropEd student at their home institution only. For further exceptions refer to http://internationalhealth.charite.de/en/admission/application/
Up to 24 participants
Students and participants must attend 80% of the teaching time.
Places are allocated on a “first-come, first-served” basis.
Deadline for application: January 5th 2018
We shall confirm the module 4 weeks before module start latest subject to a sufficient number of applications.
Late applications will be considered as long as places are available.
875.00 EUR for tropEd MScIH students and alumni
1312.50 EUR for others
Scholarships: None
Major changes since initial accreditation:
The curriculum was continuously adapted to reflect new developments, e.g. the introduction of new vaccines in the EPI (rotavirus, pneumococcal conjugate, or HPV) as well as the development of new candidate vaccines with promising results from clinical trials (malaria, dengue). Over time, operational aspects become more important at the expense of basic vaccine research, including input from national EPI managers presenting on strengths and challenges of immunization programme management.
In 2014, the module is planned to run for two weeks for the first time, following student and faculty feedback. The overall objective of this extension is to make the module less packed and exhausting, and to facilitate interaction among students and between students and lecturers. The additional time will be spent on (1) giving each lecturer a bit more time to allow discussions, (2) introducing four exercises to consolidate learned content, (3) introducing an excursion to Germany’s national Public Health Institute, (4) adding three lectures on "special vaccines" to widen the students’ horizon beyond EPI, and (5) a written examination to achieve a more rounded assessment approach.
Student evaluation:
Overall student evaluation has been very good to excellent. The fact that several international facilitators with a wealth of field experience are not only providing their input through lectures, but are also available e.g. during group work sessions, some of them for a prolonged period of time, has provided the opportunity for more informal in-depth discussions on relevant issues in the field. The most frequent critical comment related to the one-week version of the module being too packed to absorb all that new knowledge offered to the students.
Lessons learned:
The course was initially run with major financial support by GSK Biologicals. The fact that several senior members of the GSK staff were involved as lecturers in this course was addressed during the course, and pros and cons critically debated. One of the "soft" outcomes of this approach is a critical and realistic view on the necessary interdependence between private and public, academic and non-academic actors in the advancement of vaccinology.
When this financial support was removed for reasons unrelated to the module in 2010, the degree of dependence on external funding was such that the module was at risk of cancellation despite strong student interest. The module survived as a standard no-frills tropEd module, largely (but not completely) independent from external funding.
tropEd accreditation:
Accredited in Alicante, 2001; re-accredited in 2008 and in October 2013. Accreditation is valid until October 2018.
This course is developed and organised in cooperation with University of Antwerp (UA), Belgium
Recommended pre-reading: Global Vaccine Action Plan 2011-2020. Available for download from WHO website.
Course application form
Email Address: mscih-student@charite.de
Date Of Record Creation: 2012-01-09 08:59:42 (W3C-DTF)
Date Of Record Release: 2012-01-09 15:13:06 (W3C-DTF)
Date Record Checked: 2017-11-19 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2021-11-21 19:37:20 (W3C-DTF)