World Immunisation Week: A year in global vaccine research

Four year old Golden Kondowe receives his typhoid vaccination in Malawi [Credit: Sabin Vaccine Institute/Thoko Chikondi]

Each year, the World Health Organisation reminds the public of the importance of vaccinations and the preventable deaths caused by infectious disease during World Immunisation Week.

To mark this year’s campaign, which takes place from 24 -30 April, we’re taking a look back at news stories we’ve published during the past 12 months and highlighting some of the key vaccine research developments made here in Liverpool through the University’s Centre for Global Vaccine Research.

Works begins on Zika vaccine

A major new collaborative project to develop a Zika virus vaccine that is suitable for use in pregnancy was announced in February. Led by Professor Neil French and supported by a £4.7million award from Department of Health and Social Care, managed by Innovate UK, the new project aims to take two new vaccine candidates through to a clinical trial in humans within the next three years. Full story…

UK rotavirus vaccine delivers impact

Childhood vaccination against rotavirus has greatest benefit in the most deprived communities and could contribute to reducing health inequalities in the UK, according to research published in January. The study was part of a long-term programme of rotavirus research led by Professor Nigel Cunliffe, which includes the pivotal, Phase III clinical trial of human rotavirus vaccine that resulted in a global rotavirus vaccine recommendation by the World Health Organisation in 2009. Full story…

Malawi makes typhoid history

History was made in the fight against typhoid fever in February, as the first child in Africa was vaccinated in a clinical trial using a new generation of typhoid vaccines. The clinical trial in Malawi is being led by Professor Melita Gordon, and aims to enrol 24,000 children aged nine months to 12 years as part of the wider Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium (TyVAC) study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Full story…

River blindness plans kick-started

Scientists from the UK, United States and Africa joined forces in June to put into action a strategic plan to create a preventative vaccine for River blindness, with the ultimate goal of eliminating the disease from Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr Ben Makepeace is leading work to test a river blindness vaccine in cattle as part of the $3.6 million initiative, which aims to reach phase 1 clinical trials in humans by the year 2020. Full story…

The Centre for Global Vaccine Research is an interdisciplinary research initiative based at the University’s Institute of Infection and Global Health. For more information please visit:

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