The power of vaccines
Immunisation is the single most powerful medical tool for improving health. The introduction of WHO’s Expanded Programme on Immunisation in 1974 has already prevented tens of millions of unnecessary childhood deaths.
Modern immunisation programmes combine the products of sophisticated bioengineering with complex epidemiological surveillance and modelling to protect children and adults. Animal vaccines help increase farming efficiency and secure our food supply.
However, many significant diseases still have no effective vaccine to prevent them, and many life-saving vaccines unfortunately do not reach everyone who needs them. Our vision is a world in which all major infectious diseases and their sequelae are controlled by vaccination and there is equity for access.
The Vaccine Centre is a collaborative partnership of over 100 scientists hosted by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine that aims to improve human and animal health through vaccination.
Specifically we aim to:
- Develop new vaccines and evaluate their biological potential
- Test new vaccines for safety, immunogenicity and efficacy
- Evaluate and optimise vaccine programmes and policies
- How we work
• Forging scientific collaborations between scientists in complementary areas of discovery
• Encouraging synergistic thinking across the whole pathway of vaccine development and deployment, leading to better strategic planning for vaccine research
• Training the vaccine scientists of the future and teaching the scientific principles of vaccine discovery, clinical assessment and programme evaluation
• Providing a hub to foster research networks, international partnerships, and meetings to tackle important challenges in vaccine science and policy.
- Who is involved
The Vaccine Centre has both internal and external Centre members. Internal members include staff and students of LSHTM. Staff members come from a wide array of disciplinary background and work on vaccines at national, regional and global levels. The VaC student group is made up of current MSc and PhD students who are interested in vaccines.
External members are academics and members of the community who are interested in LSHTM's work on vaccines.
The VaC is lead by a steering group representing the 3 faculties of the School (Public Health and Policy, Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Epidemiology and Population Health) and the two African MRC units (Uganda and the Gambia). This means the VaC is connected to a broad range of vaccine research topics and methodologies, as well as other LSHTM Centres.
Beate Kampmann is a Professor of Paediatric Immunity and Infection in London and lead of the Vaccines and Immunity Theme at the MRC Unit the Gambia. Tracey Chantler is Assistant Professor in Public Health Evaluation and accepted the Co-Director position in January 2022.
See the Leadership page for more information.
- Centre themes
- Centre Triennial Review
In 2021, the VaC participated in the LSHTM Centres Triennial Review in which we reported the Centre's activity, outputs and achievements. We received encouraging feedback from the review, which can be accessed here.