Although the invention of vaccines has been one of the greatest public health interventions preventing millions of deaths from infectious diseases each year, the performance of some vaccines varies greatly across populations and geographical areas. For example, marked lower responses (vaccine hypo-responsiveness) have been observed in low- and middle-income countries compared to high income countries or when comparing deprived rural areas versus urban areas within one country. Several reasons have been put forward to explain population-level differences in immune responses to vaccines, including genetic differences as well as environmental factors.
At the Parasitology Department at Leiden University Medical Center, the problem of vaccine hypo-responsiveness is being addressed through the creation of a knowledge hub (HypoVax Global) to mobilize researchers from across the globe, working in diverse fields and to form a strong global network. This network is focused on understanding geographical variations in immune responses to vaccines and the hub provides a platform for the sharing of expertise, methodologies, and data.
This workshop aims to:
− Bring together researchers from diverse fields who are focused on understanding variation in vaccine responses across populations and geographical areas
− Highlight existing findings and discuss the way research on vaccine hypo-responsiveness can be shaped
− Provide the opportunity for early career scientists, especially women to share their research work
− Create connections between researchers and industry, funders, policy-makers as well as technology transfer experts
− Brainstorm on solutions and interventions to chart a way forward on the best approaches to create a roadmap for tackling vaccine hypo-responsiveness (consensus paper)