A Bayesian approach to estimating causal vaccine effects on binary post-infection outcomes

Jincheng Zhou, Haitao Chu, Michael G. Hudgens, M. Elizabeth Halloran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


To estimate causal effects of vaccine on post-infection outcomes, Hudgens and Halloran (2006) defined a post-infection causal vaccine efficacy estimand VEI based on the principal stratification framework. They also derived closed forms for the maximum likelihood estimators of the causal estimand under some assumptions. Extending their research, we propose a Bayesian approach to estimating the causal vaccine effects on binary post-infection outcomes. The identifiability of the causal vaccine effect VEI is discussed under different assumptions on selection bias. The performance of the proposed Bayesian method is compared with the maximum likelihood method through simulation studies and two case studies - a clinical trial of a rotavirus vaccine candidate and a field study of pertussis vaccination. For both case studies, the Bayesian approach provided similar inference as the frequentist analysis. However, simulation studies with small sample sizes suggest that the Bayesian approach provides smaller bias and shorter confidence interval length.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-64
Number of pages12
JournalStatistics in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 15 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • Bayesian methods
  • Causal inferences
  • Principal stratification
  • Vaccine effects


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