“Securing our future” – report on the value of veterinary vaccinology

A report published today (18 Sept. 2021) makes a strong case for the UK to increase its investment in veterinary vaccine research, particularly for zoonotic diseases, to ensure we are prepared to respond to emerging threats in the future.

The report available here , was commissioned and funded by the British Society for Immunology and the International Veterinary Vaccinology Network. It reviews the previous successes in veterinary vaccinology, including the eradication of rinderpest. The importance of international cooperation and global networking is emphasized. Also, the importance of fundamental research into understanding the immune system which underpins vaccine development. Veterinary vaccines play an important role in food security and ensuring that food from animals is safe. The development of new vaccine platforms provides exciting opportunities for the rapid development of new vaccines: examples include vector vaccines and plant-based vaccines. For vaccines to succeed, they need to reach the market with the help of the pharmaceutical industry.

The report points out that to meet the needs of research in the future, more bright young scientists are needed to take up the challenges in veterinary immunology. An increase in funding for early career research would help retain researchers in this field.

The ‘One-Health’ dimensions of the Covid-19 pandemic have shown the importance of veterinary vaccinology to human as well as animal health.

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