It was more than 200 years ago that Edward Jenner became the first person to successfully develop a vaccine. Since his milestone vaccine against smallpox, no medical achievement has done more to save lives and improve quality of life than the simple act of vaccination. The science Jenner used in that first vaccine is still widely used today, but there is more to do. There are still diseases that have no vaccine, new technologies are now allowing us to explore vaccination as a way to treat existing conditions, as well as prevent against illness.
We have a large technology toolkit allowing us to expand the scope of vaccine research. Our scientists have accepted the challenge to think about what the vaccines of the future might look like, whether they’ll be administered as they are now, or whether we could program cells within the body to make the antibodies needed to protect against future infection by certain diseases. We also utilise the latest technology, like virtual reality headsets and 3D modelling, to help design new, and in some cases, improved vaccines.