Accelerated Development of Vaccine benefit-risk Collaboration in Europe (ADVANCE)

The ADVANCE project was initiated in the aftermath of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, an outbreak of swine flu that killed thousands of people around the world. During the crisis, it became clear that there were communication and collaboration issues between the public bodies and private companies involved gathering evidence about how effective and safe the approved the new H1N1 flu vaccines were, once they had been rolled out. Beyond the problems this causes for pharmaceutical companies, who are required by medicines regulators to provide evidence about vaccines’ effectiveness ‘post-marketing’, the lack of steady data can put public trust in vaccines at risk as it makes it harder to track and react to adverse reactions.

ADVANCE created a partnership between European pharmaceutical companies, the medicines regulators responsible for green-lighting vaccines, and the public health bodies that collect data on infectious diseases, in order to build a bridge between these fragmented players and put down some ground rules for how they can work together in the future. ADVANCE developed and tested new methods and data analysis tools to create Europe-wide system that can generate solid evidence on how vaccines are faring once on the market. The legacy of ADVANCE is VAC4EU, an international non-profit collaboration platform that stands ready to act as a vaccine safety and monitoring system that will help the different stakeholder groups make fast, informed decisions regarding vaccination strategies, in turn boosting public trust in vaccines by allowing adverse effects or other rare events to be identified quickly, easily and widely.