UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Vaccine manufacturing during a global pandemic: what have we learnt from COVID-19?

The Department of Health and Social Care’s UK Vaccine Network funded Future Vaccine Manufacturing Research Hubs, FVMR Hub and Vax-Hub held a webinar “Vaccine manufacturing during a global pandemic".

Vaccine manufacturing webinar screenshot 10 June 2021

During the event, which featured leading COVID-19 vaccine scientists and policy-makers, participants explored the role of academia in vaccine manufacturing innovation, discussed the UK's positioning in global health research and international development, and reflected on the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic to shape future research in this area. 

Proceedings were held across three sessions and questions addressed during the day included: 

  • How has progress (e.g. in vaccine platform technologies) influenced the development of vaccines? To what extent have pandemic preparedness strategies supported the development of a vaccine? 
  • What role does local vaccine manufacturing capacity play in equitable access to vaccines and can long-term availability and supply of vaccines be improved by investing in additional local production capacity in low and middle-income countries? 
  • What role does UK-based vaccine manufacturing research play in ensuring global health security against future pandemics and how can we strengthen our capacity and contribution? 

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Chairs: Martina Micheletti and Marta Mauri (Vax-Hub) Speakers: Steve Bagshaw (Vaccines Taskforce Programme, BEIS), Robin Shattock (FVMR Hub), Sarah Gilbert (Vax-Hub)

In the first session of the day, we reflected on the contributions of the Hubs’ world-leading scientists to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and the important role that the UK Vaccine Taskforce played in the pandemic response. We also discussed what can be done to further strengthen the UK’s research infrastructure for future pandemic events. Questions were taken from the audience in a Q&A session.




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Chairs: Ben Pierce and Parisa Meysami (FVMR Hub) Speakers: Matthew Duchars (VMIC), Mike Whelan (CEPI) Additional panellists: Gordon Dougan (University of Cambridge), Brendan Wren (LSHTM)

In the third session, we discussed the technological and policy innovations necessary to provide enhanced health security, both nationally and globally. We reflected on the UK’s vaccine development and manufacturing infrastructures within a global health context and the ways in which we can work with LMIC manufacturers to develop processes that improve the local response to serious diseases before they become global emergencies.

Please contact us for further information about this event and our future programme.  

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Chairs: Ben Pierce and Paul Kitandwe (FVMR Hub) Speakers: Martina Micheletti (Vax-Hub), Ben Pierce (FVMR Hub), Jicui Dong (WHO), Neni Nurainy (PT Bio Farma), Mohammad Mainul Ahasan (Incepta), Do Tuan Dat (Vabiotech) Additional panellists: Eli Keshavarz-Moore (Vax-Hub), Rochelle Aw (FVMR Hub)

In this session, we discussed vaccine manufacturing capacity building in Low and middle-Income Countries (LMICs) as a route to future pandemic preparedness and enhanced global health security. We heard from three of our close industrial collaborators based in Indonesia, Bangladesh and Vietnam about the value of research partnerships and from the World Health Organisation on their new World Local Production Forum initiative which aims to enhance access to medicines and other health technologies in line with national, regional and global health needs.