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Scratching Beneath the Surface: Applied Epidemiology of Vaccine Preventable Diseases in Victoria




Marsland, Madeleine

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This thesis describes the projects and experiences I completed to fulfil the requirements of the Australian National University Master of Philosophy in Applied Epidemiology program. I completed my field placement between February 2022 and December 2023. My placement focussed on vaccine preventable diseases and I was jointly placed in the Communicable Diseases Epidemiology and Surveillance unit and the Immunisation unit at the Victorian Department of Health. My projects consisted of a descriptive epidemiological analysis of ten years of herpes zoster surveillance data to investigate the impact of the National Shingles Vaccination Program; a serosurvey examining risk factors for Japanese encephalitis virus following an outbreak in an immunologically naive population; an evaluation of the Australian Rotavirus Surveillance Program in Victoria; the investigation and response to a series of imported measles cases in Victoria following the COVID-19 pandemic; and, the investigation of a vaccine cold chain breach in a Victorian health facility. The findings of these projects supported public health action by informing vaccination policy, improving surveillance systems, and providing a greater understanding of infectious diseases within Victoria. This thesis also presents additional competencies I completed including literature reviews, conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications and articles submitted to peer-reviewed journals, and my experiences teaching epidemiology. Finally, I describe some of the additional public health activities and experiences I had during my field placement in the program.






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