Final Report Summary - ADVAC-EC (Advanced vaccinology training for scientists from ACC and developing countries: from genomics to vaccination strategies for communicable diseases linked to poverty)
(i) pre-clinical vaccine researches;
(ii) design and monitoring of clinical trials;
(iii) vaccine safety issues;
(iv) selection of new and appropriate vaccination strategies;
(v) communication activities.
The specific objective of the project was to provide a broad view of the different facets of vaccinology and of the related decision-making processes to people involved at different levels in vaccine related issues. It was of a significant importance that people interested in upstream vaccine research or in clinical trials be also aware of the economic, epidemiological and logistic issues that would at a later stage influence the real-life use a new vaccine. Similarly, people involved in the design of vaccination strategies ought to have certain knowledge of basic aspects of vaccinology, as well as of criteria that determine the use of a vaccine in public health practice.
The training course included top-level lectures followed by interactive discussions and specific practical exercises in small working groups. Special focus was laid to vaccines against Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis and malaria. Furthermore, an important aspect of the course was the promotion of contacts and international networks. Particular attention was also paid for the course to abstain from any commercial use. English was the official language. For this purpose the scientific committee selected 65 participants, 29 of which stemmed from developing countries, Associate candidate countries (ACC), as well as from east European countries. By the end of the course participants were able to:
- select relevant vaccine research areas in relation to identified challenges;
- deal with specific issues regarding vaccine trials (including ethical aspects) and vaccine delivery systems;
- understand requirements for vaccination strategies to be used in neonates, elderly and HIV infected people;
- be aware of recent developments towards new or improved vaccines and new vaccination strategies (including HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, cancer);
- appreciate the relative value of new vaccination strategies as regarded from the health authorities, funding agencies, industry or public media;
- use rational criteria for decisions related to the introduction of new vaccines into immunisation programmes;
- understand economic considerations regarding the use of new vaccines at global level and be able to perform limited cost-effective studies of new vaccines;
- initiate appropriate actions in crisis associated with real or alleged vaccine adverse effects and further enhance communications skills.