25 Apr 2016

World Immunisation Week

This week is World Immunisation Week (24th -30th April 2016) it is organised by the World Health Organisation to promote the importance of vaccines for immunisation at all stages of life. This is a cause that's very important to us at the Institute of Infection and Global Health.

We've asked Dr Naor Bar-Zeev to give us a run down of why vaccines are so important and the Liverpool Malawi Vaccine Initiative.

Vaccines have been the greatest of all medical interventions. They have literally changed the world. Eradicating diseases and relegating previously common condition to what are today considered rare events.Vaccines have been instrumental to reducing child mortality globally. In developing countries where infectious diseases are still the primary cause of child and adult mortality, vaccines are really vital. 

Thankfully the University of Liverpool has been right at the forefront of vaccine development and evaluation for over 2 decades. In Malawi researchers from the Institute of Infection and Global Health (IGH) continuously track infectious diseases and together with the Malawi Ministry of Health ensure the best vaccines are trialled and introduced. 

IGH research has evaluated measles, rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines and trials are soon concluding of an important vaccine against malaria in newborns.  Data collected by at the Malawi-Liverpool-Clinical Reserch Programme led by IGH  helped Malawi introduce pneumococcal conjugate vaccines and rotavirus vaccines earlier than other African sites. 

The benefits of these vaccines to disease and child mortality and to economic growth have been shown by our research. Our field workers and epidemiologists continuously work towards optimising the best use of vaccines to achieve the greatest benefit. While our microbiologists and molecular biologists are on the hunt for germs that mutate to escape the effect of vaccines, and are on a constant search for new vaccine candidates. Together with Malawian clinicans and scientists, these efforts ensure ongoing improvements in the health of children in Malawi, and a productive and impactful scientific process that maximises public health.

Join us throughout the week to find out more about our in vaccines. You can follow information from other organisations on Twitter using #VaccinesWork 

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