What is EURO-ELSAV?The EURO-ELSAV project is a concerted action which aims to analyse the major reasons for ethical, legal, and social concerns surrounding vaccine policies in research and public health. Eventually the project aims to establish a European Multidisciplinary Network devoted to monitoring ethical, legal and social aspects (ELSA) of new vaccines and vaccination policies.
The important changes that have occurred in vaccination - due to new molecular biology and the better understanding of the immune system - make up the background of the project. The ability to manipulate DNA, the ability to synthesise oligopeptides and "package" them in different ways, the development of new adjuvants, the ability to enhance the type and persistence of the immune response, have overturned conventional views on vaccination. There are currently about 20 vaccines in use in addition to the six (tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, diphteria, pertussis, tetanus, measles) of the WHO Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), but about 34 other different vaccines are currently being investigated. In June 1995, after the initiative of the European Commissioners E. Cresson, M. Bangemann, and N. Kinnock, the EC set up a Task-force devoted to "Vaccination and Viral Diseases (TFV-V). In its presentation the TFV-V stated:
"Public perception of vaccines is substantially different to that of medicinal products. Despite the fact that vaccines have had an enormous impact on public health, immunisation has been a subject of controversy since 1721 and the introduction of variolation by Lady Montagu. Since many vaccinated individuals are young and healthy, they do not perceive the benefits to social welfare and observe only adverse affects. On the other hand, the effects of medicinal products, which ameliorate pathologic states, are better perceived by individuals. A succesful vaccination programme requres positive attitudes and social responsibility from individuals. It is therefore important to stress the role of public health authorities in properly informing and educating the public on the advantages of vaccine" (p. 18)"
The project takes up this purpose.
The Bergen part of EURO-ELSAVThe objective of the Bergen part of the EURO-ELSAV project is to explore the ethical and legal issues involved in international collaboration in vaccine trials. A large number of the new vaccines under investigation, such as malaria vaccines, are for diseases prevalent in developing countries. Some, such as HIV vaccines, are for disease which are major health problems in both developed and developing countries. Many trials will therefore be carried out as collaborative ventures. In the past few years, the ethical issues surrounding such collaborative trials have been hotly debated. The Bergen part of the project is dedicated to an investigation of these issues.
Here are some links that will introduce you to the some of the
discussion currently going on:
This page was last updated Saturday, 17-Apr-2004 23:31:09 CEST