WS 01 - Thinking Ahead: Prototype Vaccines
10 months ago
Vaccines are the major cornerstone to control pandemics. This has been demonstrated in the past for instance by the eradication of poxvirus or the global control of poliomyelitis. Given the long history of vaccines, established pipelines for their development and production have been developed. The still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has enriched this pipeline and although SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have been developed and approved within less than a year, this major achievement built on decades of basic research. Equally important was the massive financial support, accelerated administrative procedures and rapid increase in production capacity. Yet, important challenges remain such as the global distribution of vaccines and insufficient vaccination rates in countries where these vaccines are available. Another challenge is to increase our preparedness for possible future pandemics. How can we deal with future pandemics more effectively and could we even contain initial outbreaks? One approach might be the development of prototype vaccines, but how efficient can these be? Can we exploit our experience from the COVID-19 pandemic and develop novel vaccine platforms allowing even faster vaccine development and clinical approval? Obviously, the investment into such vaccine approaches and required infrastructure will be associated with high costs. In this session, we want to discuss the ongoing work in this exciting area, learn about its feasibility and understand its potential impact on global health care.