Navigating the Complexities of Veterinary Vaccine Development: Insights from IVIS 2023

Andy PetersUncategorized Leave a Comment

I’ve just returned from a remarkable journey to South Africa’s Kruger National Park, where I had the
honor of participating in the International Veterinary Immunology Symposium (IVIS) 2023. This
prestigious event, primarily attended by academic immunologists, was an incredible opportunity to
delve into the latest advancements in veterinary diseases. My invitation came from the International
Development Research Council for Canada (IDRC), under whose auspices I serve on the Livestock
Vaccine Innovation Fund (LVIF) governing body.

Conference Overview:
IVIS 2023 was a gathering of over 200 experts in the field of veterinary immunology. The symposium
was an ideal platform for sharing knowledge, discussing challenges, and exploring future directions in
the realm of veterinary diseases. The event was not just an academic meeting but a confluence of
ideas aiming to push the boundaries of scientific research in this vital area.

LVIF Program and IDRC’s Role:
The IDRC played a significant role in the symposium by organising side meetings that focused on the
Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund (LVIF) program. Established seven years ago, the LVIF aims to
promote the development of vaccines for neglected diseases in lower and middle-income countries
(LMICs). These discussions provided an in-depth look into the progress, challenges, and impact of the
LVIF since its inception.

Personal Engagement and Observations:
As a member of the LVIF governing body, I had the unique opportunity to introduce the program and
share my perspectives. I reflected on the program’s achievements and its role in bridging the gap
between academic research and practical vaccine development. However, I also expressed my
concerns regarding the challenges faced in translating research into successful vaccine projects,
especially given the complexities involved and the limited time available.

The Future of LVIF:
With the LVIF program approaching its conclusion in March next year, there’s a period of review and
reflection on the horizon. The possibility of a second phase of LVIF and its potential direction is a topic
of much interest and speculation. My personal viewpoint emphasises the need for a greater focus on
downstream processes, including manufacturing, quality control, and sustainable distribution of
vaccines in LMICs.

Experiencing South Africa:
Beyond the academic discussions, the symposium also offered a chance to experience the natural
beauty of South Africa. A memorable game drive allowed us to observe a diverse range of wildlife in
their natural habitat – lions, elephants, leopards, antelopes, crocodiles, and wildebeests. This was
followed by a delightful barbecue in the bush, adding a unique and enjoyable dimension to the whole

Looking Ahead:
Now back in the UK, I am taking a brief pause to catch up on work before heading to Nairobi for a
series of meetings. These meetings promise to continue the dialogue and development in the field of
veterinary immunology and vaccine development. I look forward to sharing insights and experiences
from these upcoming engagements.

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