A randomisation meeting for the Pneumococcal Vaccine Schedules (PVS) study was held on Tuesday 27th March, 2018 at MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM Basse Field Station.
The session was graced by a representative from each of the 68 clusters in the study. Mr Pa Chebou Saine, Head of Operations, MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM Basse Field Station gave the opening remarks. Principal Investigator for the PVS study Dr Grant Mackenzie gave a presentation on the successes registered in the fight to eliminate the Pneumococcus, highlighting the correlation between the Pneumococcal Vaccine Trial (PVT), the Pneumococcal Surveillance Project (PSP) and the Pneumococcal Vaccine Schedules (PVS) study to be commenced soon.
PVS is a collaborative study between MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW). The study will evaluate an alternative schedule for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) compared to the current schedule of three doses early in infancy without a booster dose. The alternative schedule includes one dose early in infancy and a later booster dose. The study involves all resident infants in Fuladu West, Fuladu East and Kantora. MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM will support the EPI to deliver the two different schedules and support the MoHSW to provide clinical care for the sick children. PVS will begin in May 2018 and will run for a period 4 years. The study aims to test whether the alternative 1+1 schedule will have the same impact as the current 3+0 schedule.
The randomisation exercise was done by one community representative from both Central River Division (CRR) and Upper River Division (URR) with absolute transparency. The community members randomly selected one of 100 possible randomisation lists. Representatives from each of the 68 clusters then learned the study group allocation for their immunisation clinic. All the questions and concerns raised by the attendees were adequately answered by the PVS team.
Translation into local languages was done by Mr Mustapha Darboe (PVS Field Coordinator) and Mr Malick Njie (Field Supervisor).
The vote of thanks was delivered by Mr Saidina Babucarr Ceesay (PVS Senior Project Manager)