Kristin Nelson, PhD, MPH

Kristin Nelson, PhD, MPH

Emory University

Research Project:
Impact of Introducing Two TB Vaccines in Four Countries

Grant Awarded:

  • Catalyst Award

Research Topic:

  • public health

Research Disease:

  • tuberculosis

In rural Alaskan communities, healthcare access issues can further complicate the provision of prompt and effective treatment for tuberculosis (TB). Preventing TB through a vaccine program offers the opportunity to improve lung health in a population that has a long history of high TB burden, dating back to the arrival of Europeans and their first contact with Alaskan natives in the 1700s. We will provide evidence for guiding national, state and tribal policy formulation for implementation of TB vaccines in the U.S. and in high-risk populations in Alaska. Using disease models that simulate vaccination, we will explore the relative impacts of different vaccination strategies that would prioritize high-risk groups by geography and age, and employ different delivery strategies, such as school-based or primary health center-based vaccination campaigns.

We have established relationships with partner organizations, clearly defined the analysis plan in collaboration with partners, and taken steps to access public health surveillance data needed for models. We have also worked to develop several key scenarios for the introduction of a TB vaccine in Alaska–in close collaboration with Alaskan partners–to test in models. Specifically, we have identified several key regions and age groups that might be targeted with a vaccine program. In year two, we will use models to test the impact of each scenario and compare their relative population-level impact in the state of Alaska.

Page last updated: September 12, 2023

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