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Vaccine science, policy experts urge vaccine R&D enterprise transformation

05/05/2021 12:32 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 -- As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, the global community faces an urgent need to develop an efficient, coordinated and sustainable model for a healthy and well-functioning vaccine research and development (R&D) ecosystem.

In a new report, ‘Powering Vaccine R&D: Opportunities for Transformation’, the Sabin-Aspen Vaccine Science & Policy Group uses lessons learned from the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines to explore opportunities to overhaul vaccine R&D practices.

This is to better prepare for the next pandemic, make strides against diseases currently without vaccines and establish next-generation vaccines offering meaningful improvements.

“The COVID pandemic and the rapid development of vaccines to fight SARS-CoV-2 have heightened our sense of urgency that the time has come to evolve and reform the vaccine R&D ecosystem with the goal of creating a world free of vaccine-preventable diseases,” Group co-chair and president emeritus and professor emeritus of Molecular Biology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, Shirley M. Tilghman, PhD said in a statement.

Despite remarkable accomplishments in recent years, including new vaccine development platforms enabling rapid response to COVID-19, challenges and structural barriers remain, slowing development of new and improved vaccines.

 The report focuses on five ‘Big Ideas’ aimed at stimulating a more efficient and responsive approach to vaccine R&D namely defining leadership roles, responsibilities and mechanisms of accountability to prepare for R&D demands surfacing in a pandemic; propelling a transdisciplinary research effort to expand and advance vaccine science; and, reimagine clinical trials, among others.

These recommendations offer the opportunity to advance and accelerate vaccine development and should be a critical part of any effort to reexamine and restructure the R&D component of the vaccine/vaccination ecosystem, a particularly relevant undertaking as the world continues to address and learn lessons from the COVID-19 response.

The Sabin Vaccine Institute is a leading advocate for expanding vaccine access and uptake globally, advancing vaccine research and development, and amplifying vaccine knowledge and innovation.

More details at


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