Pneumonia is the commonest cause of childhood death throughout the world, especially in low and middle income countries. The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) has been available for 19 years, but there are still many outstanding issues in its use: how do we measure the impact of this vaccine when the causes of pneumonia are many; how do we monitor serotype replacement in the post-PCV era; how do we measure herd protection; and how many doses of the vaccine are really needed for optimal protection?
Professor Fiona Russell is a paediatrician, epidemiologist and translation researcher. She is Director of the Child and Adolescent Health PhD Program, within the Department of Paediatrics; and sits in the Centre for International Child Health (WHO Collaborating Centre for Child Health) also within the Dept. of Paediatrics. She is Group Leader for Asia-Pacific Health at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and is a member for the Melbourne Children’s Global Health Leadership team. Her PhD on pneumococcal vaccine schedules and epidemiology informed WHO policy. She leads large-scale pneumococcal vaccine impact studies in the Asia-Pacific region and has developed novel methods to measure its impact. She is a member of the WHO PCV Expert Advisory group. Recently, she won the Australian Society of Infectious Diseases Frank Fenner Award for her research in Infectious Diseases.