Scientific Coordinator of ADVANCE, based at Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands
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“I want to make sure that the risks and benefits of vaccines can be evaluated quickly”, says Miriam Sturkenboom. She is a Professor of Medical Informatics at Erasmus University Medical Centre in the Netherlands. Miriam studies drug and vaccine safety in large populations by connecting international databases and partners.
Immunisation prevents millions of deaths and disabilities worldwide every year. Serious side-effects are rare, but fears surrounding vaccine safety motivate some people to refuse vaccination. ADVANCE will make it possible to provide the public with reliable data to determine if the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks.
ADVANCE aims to provide the best evidence to support decision making on vaccines. Prof. Sturkenboom: “We will create a European framework for rapidly assessing and communicating the benefits and risks of vaccines. This will give health professionals, regulators and the public the facts they need to make decisions on vaccines”.
ADVANCE is a unique collaboration of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the European Medicines Agency, national public health and regulatory bodies, vaccine manufacturers, small and medium-sized enterprises and academic institutions. The project will encourage these key players to share their data.
Improving benefit & risk assessments of vaccines
Some Europeans have stopped vaccinating their children due to scare stories such as claims – now discredited – that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine was linked to autism
Image Credit: James Gathany, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The WHO estimates that due to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, five million people are walking today who would otherwise have been paralysed by the virus
James Gathany, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Portrait of the project coordinator:
Timeline (in chronological order):
1980: Anthea Sieveking , Wellcome Images; 1981: James Gathany, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 1998: Barbara Bellingham, Wellcome Images; 2004: The Lancet; 2012: University of Exeter; 2013-map of Europe: WHO; 2013-ADVANCE logo: ADVANCE project
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