Virtual Data Network to Be Developed to Examine Effectiveness of Flu Vaccines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducts studies each year to determine how well the influenza (flu) vaccine protects against illness. To answer key research questions and address current research gaps related to vaccine effectiveness and incidence of severe flu-related outcomes across age and high-risk groups, larger sample sizes can help to provide pooled estimates with statistical precision. For that work, CDC has awarded Westat the Virtual Network to Investigate Risk of Influenza-Associated Severe Outcomes and Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Using Integrated Medical and Public Health Records Project. The 2-year contract is valued at $2.7 million.

This virtual network of integrated care and health systems will pull data from electronic medical and pharmacy outpatient and inpatient records related to flu vaccination, flu illness episodes, and associated flu-outcome data. Westat will assist with study site selection and development of a common protocol and common data elements, develop and implement a data management system, and provide CDC with analysis-ready data files.

“Westat is honored to have been selected by CDC to develop this innovative data management system that will extract and pool data across health systems to support the investigation of epidemiologic patterns, prevention strategies, and costs of care,” notes Patricia Shifflett, Vice President and Practice Director, Public Health and Epidemiology.

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