Dr Dan Hungerford PhD MBIolSci (Hons) PGDipPH AFHEA

Senior Lecturer in Infectious Disease Epidemiology Clinical Infection, Microbiology & Immunology


Real world vaccine evaluations in the UK

My PhD and NIHR post-doctoral fellowship have focused on evaluating paediatric rotavirus vaccine introduction in the UK. Along with continued work on rotavirus vaccines my current work is focused on using routine data in the UK to assess influenza vaccine impact and effectiveness. One of these projects involves evaluating the impact of vaccines on antibiotic prescriptions in primary care in the UK. Within these projects I am also interested in utilising and exploring novel and efficient designs and statistical methods for evaluating new vaccines after real world introduction to assess effectiveness.

Our work on rotavirus and influenza vaccines has been funded through industry, the NIHR and the Wellcome Trust.

Gastrointestinal infections and health inequalities

I have a long-term interest in gastrointestinal infections, having in particular studied rotavirus epidemiology in the UK and globally. This programme of work has focused on rotavirus vaccine evaluations in relation to health inequalities in both disease burden and vaccine uptake.

In the UK, I currently lead the People and Places Theme in the NIHR HPRU in Gastrointestinal Infections where we utilise and improve place-based surveillance data, we aim to best understand the high burden of infection in disadvantaged places and hard to reach groups.

Recently we were awarded a NIHR funded Global Health Research Group in Gastrointestinal Infections which aims to apply world-leading, multidisciplinary gastrointestinal infection and vaccine research to build capacity and improve health outcomes from childhood diarrhoea in Eastern and Southern Africa. I jointly lead Theme 2: Modelling the impact and cost-effectiveness of vaccination.

Understanding the mechanisms to improved vaccine uptake

A key component of my research is understanding and reducing inequalities in vaccine uptake.

My PhD assessed the impact of a new paediatric vaccine (Rotarix) to prevent rotavirus gastroenteritis in the UK. I identified that rotavirus vaccination has substantially reduced healthcare use for acute gastroenteritis in young children, and has greatest impact in the most deprived populations, despite lower vaccine uptake. These findings advocate for a national and sub-national public health policy that prioritises vaccine uptake in socioeconomically deprived populations.

There was a large and sustained measles outbreak in North West of England in 2012-13, which prompted my involvement in a programme of collaborative public health research. I led case control study; a retrospective birth cohort study of Measles Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR) uptake and inequalities; and a cohort study investigating measles susceptibility. This work had direct impact on public health policy and led to an intensified, targeted and succesful MMR catch-up campaign through collaboration with National Health Service England.

We are currently trying to better understand the sub-optimal uptake of influenza vaccines in vulnerable and marginalised groups to inform future evidence based targeted public health strategies and interventions.

Research Grants

ReCITE: Building Research by Communities to Address Inequities Through Expression


February 2024 - January 2027

Bench fees - Mohammed Mesfer S Alghamdi - 201595971


September 2023 - August 2027

Global Health Research Group in Gastrointestinal Infections: Facilitating the Introduction and Evaluation of Vaccines for Enteric Diseases in Children in Eastern and Southern sub-Saharan Africa


August 2022 - July 2025

Understanding the contribution of influenza and other routine vaccines to antibiotic prescribing in the UK population


March 2021 - February 2024

Maintaining public confidence and informing vaccine policy: Using clinical and seroepidemiological data to predict risk of rotavirusdisease in older children and adults in the UK


January 2019 - November 2023

Assessment of the effect of rotavirus vaccination on a health system in Merseyside, UK.


September 2014 - March 2018

Describing the burden of severe influenza associated illness across local communities in relation to influenza vaccine uptake and socio-economic deprivation


October 2016 - March 2017

Impact of rotavirus vaccination on winter /spring pressures at a large paediatric hospital in the UK: an ecological study.


October 2015 - September 2018

Research Collaborations

Professor Pete Dodd

Project: Improving methods to determine vaccine impact in low and middle income countries
External: University of Sheffield

DiMeN MRC DTP co-supervison of student.

Dr Virginia Pitzer

Project: Maintaining public confidence and informing vaccine policy: Using clinical and seroepidemiological data to predict risk of rotavirus disease in older children and adults in the UK
External: Yale School of Public Health, Yale University, USA

NIHR Fellowship and NIHR GHRG