Imperial College London

Dr. Alex de Figueiredo

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Mathematics

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Blackett LaboratorySouth Kensington Campus





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6 results found

De Figueiredo C, 2022, Forecasting sub-national trends in COVID-19 vaccine uptake in the UK before vaccine rollout, Scientific Reports, Vol: 12, ISSN: 2045-2322

Vaccines have reduced the burden of COVID-19 disease in the UK since their introduction in December 2020. At the time of their introduction, it was unclear the extent to which COVID-19 vaccines would be accepted and how spatial variations in uptake would emerge, driven by socio-demographic characteristics. In this study, data from a large-scale cross-sectional study of over 17,000 adults, surveyed in September and October 2020 was used to provide sub-national forecasts of COVID-19 vaccine uptake across the UK. Bayesian multilevel regression and poststratification was deployed to forecast COVID-19 vaccine acceptance before vaccine rollout across 174 regions of the UK. Although it was found that a majority of the UK adult population would likely take the vaccine, there were substantial heterogeneities in uptake intent across the UK. Large urban areas, including London and North West England, females, Black or Black British ethnicities, and Polish speakers were among the least likely to state an intent to vaccinate. These predicted trends were validated by comparison to observed observed COVID-19 vaccine uptake in late 2021. The methodological approaches deployed in this validated forecasting study may be replicable for the prediction of routine childhood immunisation uptake. Given recent pandemic-induced disruptions to routine immunisation systems, reliable sub-national forecasts of vaccine uptake may provide policymakers and stakeholders early warning signals of potential vaccine confidence issues.

Journal article

de Figueiredo A, Simas C, Karafillakis E, Paterson P, Larson HJet al., 2020, Mapping global trends in vaccine confidence and investigating barriers to vaccine uptake: a large-scale retrospective temporal modelling study, The Lancet, Vol: 396, Pages: 898-908, ISSN: 0140-6736

BackgroundThere is growing evidence of vaccine delays or refusals due to a lack of trust in the importance, safety, or effectiveness of vaccines, alongside persisting access issues. Although immunisation coverage is reported administratively across the world, no similarly robust monitoring system exists for vaccine confidence. In this study, vaccine confidence was mapped across 149 countries between 2015 and 2019.MethodsIn this large-scale retrospective data-driven analysis, we examined global trends in vaccine confidence using data from 290 surveys done between September, 2015, and December, 2019, across 149 countries, and including 284 381 individuals. We used a Bayesian multinomial logit Gaussian process model to produce estimates of public perceptions towards the safety, importance, and effectiveness of vaccines. Associations between vaccine uptake and a large range of putative drivers of uptake, including vaccine confidence, socioeconomic status, and sources of trust, were determined using univariate Bayesian logistic regressions. Gibbs sampling was used for Bayesian model inference, with 95% Bayesian highest posterior density intervals used to capture uncertainty.FindingsBetween November, 2015, and December, 2019, we estimate that confidence in the importance, safety, and effectiveness of vaccines fell in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and South Korea. We found significant increases in respondents strongly disagreeing that vaccines are safe between 2015 and 2019 in six countries: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Serbia. We find signs that confidence has improved between 2018 and 2019 in some EU member states, including Finland, France, Ireland, and Italy, with recent losses detected in Poland. Confidence in the importance of vaccines (rather than in their safety or effectiveness) had the strongest univariate association with vaccine uptake compared with other determinants considered. When a link was found between i

Journal article

Larson H, Hartigan-Go K, de Figueiredo A, 2018, Vaccine confidence plummets in the Philippines following dengue vaccine scare: why it matters to pandemic preparedness.", Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics

Journal article

Larson HJ, de Figueiredo A, Xiahong Z, Schulz WS, Verger P, Johnston IG, Cook AR, Jones NSet al., 2016, The state of vaccine confidence 2016: global insights through a 67-country survey, EBioMedicine, Vol: 12, Pages: 295-301, ISSN: 2352-3964

BackgroundPublic trust in immunization is an increasingly important global health issue. Losses in confidence in vaccines and immunization programmes can lead to vaccine reluctance and refusal, risking disease outbreaks and challenging immunization goals in high- and low-income settings. National and international immunization stakeholders have called for better monitoring of vaccine confidence to identify emerging concerns before they evolve into vaccine confidence crises.MethodsWe perform a large-scale, data-driven study on worldwide attitudes to immunizations. This survey – which we believe represents the largest survey on confidence in immunization to date – examines perceptions of vaccine importance, safety, effectiveness, and religious compatibility among 65,819 individuals across 67 countries. Hierarchical models are employed to probe relationships between individual- and country-level socio-economic factors and vaccine attitudes obtained through the four-question, Likert-scale survey.FindingsOverall sentiment towards vaccinations is positive across all 67 countries, however there is wide variability between countries and across world regions. Vaccine-safety related sentiment is particularly negative in the European region, which has seven of the ten least confident countries, with 41% of respondents in France and 36% of respondents in Bosnia & Herzegovina reporting that they disagree that vaccines are safe (compared to a global average of 13%). The oldest age group (65 +) and Roman Catholics (amongst all faiths surveyed) are associated with positive views on vaccine sentiment, while the Western Pacific region reported the highest level of religious incompatibility with vaccines. Countries with high levels of schooling and good access to health services are associated with lower rates of positive sentiment, pointing to an emerging inverse relationship between vaccine sentiments and socio-economic status.ConclusionsRegular monitoring of vaccine

Journal article

de Figueiredo A, Johnston IG, Smith DM, Agarwal S, Larson HJ, Jones NSet al., 2016, Forecasted trends in vaccination coverage and correlations with socioeconomic factors: a global time-series analysis over 30 years., Lancet Global Health, Vol: 4, Pages: e726-e735, ISSN: 2214-109X

BACKGROUND: Incomplete immunisation coverage causes preventable illness and death in both developing and developed countries. Identification of factors that might modulate coverage could inform effective immunisation programmes and policies. We constructed a performance indicator that could quantitatively approximate measures of the susceptibility of immunisation programmes to coverage losses, with an aim to identify correlations between trends in vaccine coverage and socioeconomic factors. METHODS: We undertook a data-driven time-series analysis to examine trends in coverage of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP) vaccination across 190 countries over the past 30 years. We grouped countries into six world regions according to WHO classifications. We used Gaussian process regression to forecast future coverage rates and provide a vaccine performance index: a summary measure of the strength of immunisation coverage in a country. FINDINGS: Overall vaccine coverage increased in all six world regions between 1980 and 2010, with variation in volatility and trends. Our vaccine performance index identified that 53 countries had more than a 50% chance of missing the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) target of 90% worldwide coverage with three doses of DTP (DTP3) by 2015. These countries were mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia, but Austria and Ukraine also featured. Factors associated with DTP3 immunisation coverage varied by world region: personal income (Spearman's ρ=0·66, p=0·0011) and government health spending (0·66, p<0·0001) were informative of immunisation coverage in the Eastern Mediterranean between 1980 and 2010, whereas primary school completion was informative of coverage in Africa (0·56, p<0·0001) over the same period. The proportion of births attended by skilled health staff correlated significantly with immunisation coverage across many world regions. INTERPRETATION: Our vaccine performance inde

Journal article

Christensen K, Papavassiliou D, de Figueiredo A, Franks NR, Sendova-Franks ABet al., 2015, Universality in ant behaviour, JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY INTERFACE, Vol: 12, ISSN: 1742-5689

Journal article

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