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Researchers from Oxford Vaccine Group and the Pandemic Sciences Institute welcomed a delegation of vaccine researchers from Belgium to further UK-Belgian collaboration on vaccine development and manufacture.

The University of Oxford this week hosted a delegation of vaccine experts from Belgium to deepen collaboration between the UK and Belgium on vaccines and life sciences. 

The delegation from Belgium, including representatives from Vaccinopolis, the Rega Institute, AstriVax and Univercells, met with senior Oxford vaccine researchers Professor Teresa Lambe OBE, Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, Professor Sir Andrew Pollard and Professor Catherine Green OBE. 

The UK and Belgium are international leaders in biotechnology, and the visit is part of a three-day programme to learn about the UK’s national vaccine capability. Facilitated by the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care, the British Embassy in Brussels and the Belgian embassy in London, it follows a visit of UK colleagues to Belgium in November 2023. 

During the visit, the delegation toured vaccine facilities at Oxford Vaccine Group, the Pandemic Sciences Institute and the Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility. They met some of the University’s leading vaccine experts who are developing vaccines for diseases with pandemic potential, including Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF), Junin virus, Nipah virus and Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).  

The delegation discussed strengths of vaccine research across Europe, and the potential for further UK-Belgian cooperation on vaccine development in areas such as human challenge models. 

After the visit, Professor Teresa Lambe OBE from Oxford Vaccine Group and the Pandemic Sciences Institute at the University of Oxford said: “I’m delighted to have welcomed the Belgian delegation to the University of Oxford today for productive discussions on vaccine research.”  

“The last few years have shown us the vital importance of international collaboration in developing and testing vaccines. This visit has been an opportunity to share joint expertise and learnings, and explore the potential for future collaboration. I look forward to coalescing our expertise, and working together to safeguard human health. 

Bart van Meerbergen, Operational Manager at Vaccinopolis said: This was an impressive visit to the Oxford facilities. I’m very much looking forward to working together to accelerate vaccine research, which will be needed to combat future pandemics. 

The visit concluded with a working dinner at the Belgian Embassy in London, hosted by His Excellency Mr Bruno van der Plujim, Belgium’s Ambassador to the UK.