Ebola and Lassa fever are among the deadly diseases to be tackled in a pioneering new UK vaccine centre, Business Secretary Greg Clark announced this weekend.

Image/Robert Herriman
Image/Robert Herriman

Based in Oxford, the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre will help to tackle disease worldwide as well as further boosting the growth of the UK’s £70 billion life sciences industry.

The availability of safe, effective and economical vaccines is an important pillar of world health. Alongside more familiar diseases, populations globally are threatened by new outbreaks of diseases such as Ebola and Lassa fever.

The UK’s world-leading research and innovation expertise is ideally placed to create new, cost-effective ways of developing and manufacturing vaccines for global distribution, as well as ensuring the UK’s own preparedness in the event of a pandemic. The centre is expected to open in 2022, with the first products from the centre expected later that year.

Public Health Minister Steve Brine said:

It is no exaggeration to say that vaccines are a modern marvel and their introduction catapulted our healthcare system years ahead. Just this year we celebrated 50 years on from the introduction of the measles vaccine, which has potentially averted 20 million measles cases and 4,500 deaths.

While all vaccines save millions of lives around the world every year, we cannot get complacent. There are still too many debilitating diseases that take thousands of lives each year – but through investments like this we can strengthen our efforts and stop more diseases in their tracks.