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CORDIS Express: Tackling diseases with vaccines

This edition of CORDIS Express takes a look at just some of the ongoing EU-funded research efforts regarding vaccinations.

Vaccinations have stirred up much media attention in recent months, particularly in the United States where the measles vaccination has been at the heart of an impassioned debate. Following four measles outbreaks stateside this year, commentators say that anti-vaccine myths regarding the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) jab are to blame. Here in Europe, while measles vaccine coverage is on the rise and measles cases are decreasing in many countries, in some countries we are witnessing a decline in immunisation rates. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) attributes this, among other things, to increasing vaccine scepticism. Apart from helping us to tackle MMR, vaccines developed over the past 200 years have allowed us to eradicate smallpox and, along with antitoxins, protect us against rabies, diphtheria, tetanus, anthrax, cholera, plague, typhoid, tuberculosis and polio. Vaccines Europe tells us that today, vaccine development is a complex and time-consuming process. Before a vaccine is licensed and brought to the market, it undergoes a long and rigorous process of research, followed by many years of testing involving a far higher number of people than for drug trials. After pre-clinical and clinical trials, the most promising vaccine candidates will move onto trials enrolling 3 000 to 50 000 subjects. Research teams across the world are hoping to add HIV and malaria, among others, to the list of diseases that we have successfully eradicated with vaccinations. EU-funded researchers are intensively studying these and other diseases in the hope of contributing to the development of vaccinations. This edition of CORDIS Express takes a look at just some of these research efforts. - Tackling Parkinson’s with targeted therapeutic vaccines - Trending science: The quest for effective Ebola drugs and vaccines - A renewed attack on HIV - The T cell immune response against latent infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis

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