UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy


Policy brief: Developing new vaccines for pandemics

For vaccines to form part of a viable epidemic or pandemic recovery strategy, they must be available quickly and be manufacturable at scale.

New approaches to expediting the availability are being used during the COVID-19 pandemic, including platform technologies and expedited clinical trials.

If an effective vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus is developed and approved, it must be produced at sufficient quantity and at the lowest cost possible to have maximum impact at a global scale. In part one of two briefings we will look at how vaccines work, how new vaccinea are discovered and how this is being accelerated to meet the urgent need for distribution of an effective vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus worldwide.


This briefing was produced in partnership with UCL STEaPP’s Policy Impact Unit (PIU) as part of the work carried out by the Future Vaccine Manufacturing Research (Vax-Hub). The Vax-Hub is jointly led by UCL and the University of Oxford and funded by the Department of Health and Social Care’s UK Vaccine Network, and managed by the EPSRC.

Briefing contributors

Professor Martina Micheletti (Department of Biochemical Engineering), Dr Steve Morris (Department of Biochemical Engineering) and Dr Penny Carmichael (STEaPP Policy Impact Unit).

Output type

Policy briefing 

PIU Lead 

Dr Penny Carmichael

Last updated: Tuesday, July 6, 2021