Re-Thinking Vaccines

September 5, 2020 10:15 - 11:45


Vaccines are one of the most remarkable health intervention of the past two centuries. They enabled the eradication of a number of severe infectious diseases that used to cause a high number of deaths and might offer new solutions to major public health challenges such as antimicrobial resistance. The front of vaccines’ research is therefore more active and challenging than ever, taking advantage of new technology and knowledge to develop new generations of vaccines. However, sufficient immunisation coverage remains challenging in many parts of the world. The acceptance by society of the benefits from vaccination as a preventive intervention is a sensitive issue, both in low- and high-income countries. Vaccination hesitancy and mistrust in vaccines resulted in new outbreaks of diseases, such as measles, that were under control in the past in some high-income countries. In this session, a panel of ERC researchers studying vaccines and vaccination from different angles will present their work and make you think vaccines in a different way. Dr Rappuoli will tell us how vaccines can offer a solution against bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Professor Benn will explain how studies into the overall health effects of vaccines have shown that they can “train” the immune system in ways no one expected. Professor Reifler will explain why people are hesitant towards vaccination and how the relevant misperceptions are spread. Questions to be addressed will include: Is research in this field corresponding to the needs or expectations of society and of healthcare systems? What does frontline research in the field of vaccines has to offer to the global health? How should we move forward to successfully fight diseases with vaccines? How do we ensure that the population is on board? What is the future of vaccines in Europe?

Go back