Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
STRUCHINER, Claudio J. et al. Malaria vaccines: lessons from field trials. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1994, vol.10, suppl.2, pp. S310-S326. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X1994000800009.
Malaria vaccine candidates have already been tested and new trials are being carried out. We present a brief description of specific issues of validity that are relevant when assessing vaccine efficacy in the field and illustrate how the application of these principles might improve our interpretation of the data being gathered in actual malaria vaccine field trials. Our discussion assumes that vaccine evaluation shares the same general principles of validity with epidemiologic causal inference, i.e., the process of drawing inferences from epidemiologic data aiming at the identification of causes of diseases. Judicious exercise of these principles indicates that, for meaningful interpretation, measures of vaccine efficacy require definitions based upon arguments conditional on the amount of exposure to infection, and specification of the initial and final states in which one believes the effect of interest takes place.
Keywords : Malaria; Vaccine; Vaccine Efficacy; Field Trial.