Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Receives Grant to Join Vaccine Surveillance Network

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The hospital received a five-year $5 million grant from CDC to survey for communicable diseases in children and evaluate vaccine effectiveness.

The Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC announced on Sept. 29, 2016 that it has received a $5 million, five-year, grant from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to join the New Vaccine Surveillance Network (NVSN). The hospital joins a group of medical centers nationwide that survey for communicable disease in children and evaluate vaccine effectiveness.

“There are few or no effective antivirals for these viruses, and therefore vaccination is the most promising intervention,” John V. Williams, MD, chief, Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s and principal investigator of the new NVSN site said in a statement. “Active disease surveillance is necessary to establish the effectiveness of existing vaccines and provide the data needed to guide policymakers and pharmaceutical industries in the development of new vaccines. We intend to provide that critical information.”

The children’s hospital site of the NVSN has three aims:


  • Evaluate the effectiveness and impact of current or upcoming vaccines, and other proactive disease prevention strategies. Analyze the results to inform pediatric vaccine-related policies.

  • Actively assess the burden of acute gastroenteritis and acute respiratory illness by voluntarily enrolling children seen at the hospital, along with healthy children enrolled at well-child visits, and performing laboratory tests to confirm or rule out viral infection.

  • Gain new insights into the evolution and transmission of pediatric diseases, the impact of vaccines on targeted and vulnerable populations, and the socioeconomic and microbiological factors potentially relevant to public health interventions.

The NVSN has been funded by the CDC since 2000, becoming a core component of national influenza surveillance. The University of Pittsburgh’s Vaccination Research Group provides additional information on a broader, primarily adult population of people seen at UPMC outpatient facilities for potential influenza.

Source: Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh