The International Society for Vaccines is an organization that engages, supports, and sustains the professional goals of a diverse membership in all areas relevant to vaccines - 2017 ISV Annual Congress

POINTS OF VIEW OCT 2015

Title:Vaccines for Aging Populations

(Who, Me?)

By - Margaret A. Liu, M.D.

Many of us who work in the vaccine field think of vaccines by categories: pediatrics, global health, emerging and epidemic diseases, travelers, or even bioterrorism. Some of us often ignore a type of vaccine that we may need from a personal perspective sooner than we would admit: vaccines for older adults. In July of this year, The Alliance for Aging Research issued a White Paper addressing certain aspects of underutilization of vaccines by this demographic, and provided recommendations for how to increase vaccination rates for older adults in the US. The white paper was focused on four existing vaccines: influenza, pneumococcal, shingles, and tetanus.

The challenges, however, are not simply underutilization, not simply in the US, and not simply for these four diseases in older people (note that I’m avoiding the use of the word “elderly”!) The diseases targeted are clearly important for protection of this age group. However immunizing older individuals is also important because of their role in transmission of disease, even for diseases such as pertussis, which we think of as a pediatric disease. When grandparents and grandchildren spend time together, they transmit pathogens in both directions.

So what are the issues and the challenges for developing and utilizing vaccines for adults in general, and for aging adults in particular? What diseases do we need to target, and what is the immunologic milieu for older adults?

Once maternal antibodies wane, infants must develop their own immunity (preferably by vaccines rather than through illness) to the many pathogens they may encounter. We tend to think of adults as having already encountered many of those pathogens either in nature or from immunizations. Of course an adult can travel, a new disease may emerge, etc. resulting in exposure to new pathogens. But in addition to such de novo encounters, key issues include both waning immunologic memory and the decreased capability of the immune system known as immune senescence. The latter involves both innate and adaptive immune responses, and in particular T cells. Immune senescence has a host of implications for fighting, or recovery from, infections. In addition, the elderly may respond less well to immunizations. To illustrate, let us examine the disease known as Shingles.

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, occurs in nearly a third of people in the US, arising from a reactivation of the virus that causes chicken pox years after the person has recovered from chicken pox or had the (live) varicella vaccine. While some people get zoster due to immunosuppression (either from immunosuppressive drugs, certain cancers, or HIV), many cases arise in older individuals, with the incidence increasing with age. The first vaccine developed to prevent shingles had an efficacy of about 50% for preventing shingles in people 60 years of age or older. However, the efficacy declined from a high of 64% in the youngest decade vaccinated (the 60s) to 18% for people ≥80 years of age. A newer vaccine has a higher overall efficacy rate (97.2%) that remained the same in all age groups, ranging from 50 years of age to a tier of people ≥70. Nevertheless, the earlier vaccine illustrates the challenge of stimulating the aging immune system. As another example, a high dose influenza vaccine is made each year, specifically for use in people aged 65 or older.

Another challenge for vaccine usage in the elderly is how to make sure that people get their needed immunizations. Most infants receive their vaccinations via immunizations performed neonatally (when they are still in a hospital for birthing) and at subsequent periodic pediatric exams. In addition, in many places documentation of immunizations is mandatory in order for students to enroll in schools. The elderly may not have such specific interactions with health care providers to ensure regular immunizations, and since some vaccines are given at long boosting intervals, (such as tetanus with a minimal interval of 5 years to the next dose) individuals may not remember when it is time for a boost.

For those of us working to develop new vaccines, let us remember to keep the aging population in mind, both in terms of the specific disease targets, and in terms of the specific challenges of the aging immune system.

POINTS OF VIEW NOV 2015

Title:2016 ISV Annual Congress in Boston

After 9 years of successful collaboration on the organization of a highly respected international vaccine conference series, Elsevier and ISV have agreed to dissolve this partnership after the 9th Vaccine and ISV Congress in Seoul. ISV will move forward by organizing ISV’s own high quality non-commercial vaccine congress series in the future, with the same format and content, as we have done in the previous years. This will continue to provide a forum for ISV members and others in the fields of vaccines and immunotherapy to get together and share the most updated progress in the field of vaccines.

For previous Vaccine and ISV Annual Congresses, the ISV was fully responsible for the scientific organization of the meeting, including the selection of Scientific Committee members, selection of invited speakers, design of sessions including their chairs and speakers, review of submitted abstracts and selection of oral presentations. Elsevier mainly functioned as a partner in managing the business operations of these congresses while providing suggestions on certain speakers.

Therefore, it will be a relatively seamless transition for the future ISV Vaccine Congresses to maintain the same high-quality given ISV’s continued role as the scientific organizer. In addition, ISV will now be able to invite a wide range of publishers for vaccine-related journals and books, including Elsevier.

For 2016, the ISV has formed a transition team consisting of Dr. Margaret Liu serving as the Chair and Drs. David Weiner and Annie De Groot as Co-chairs. The transition team performed a careful analysis and selected Boston as the site of the 2016 Congress. They felt that Boston, with its numerous academic institutions, and biotech and pharmaceutical companies, will attract high-quality participants both locally and globally.

In addition, two well-established specialty vaccine conferences will also join the 2016 ISV Congress. Vaccine Renaissance 10 led by Dr. Annie De Groot, annually held in Providence, Rhode Island and the 2016 DNA Vaccine Conference, led by Dr. David Weiner and the International DNA Vaccine Society, which was held at various locations in previous years, will integrate with the 2016 ISV Congress. With inclusion of participants from these two conferences, it can be expected that the 2016 ISV Congress will be an extraordinary gathering for the global vaccine community.

Other regional vaccine groups such as the Japanese Society of Vaccines (JSV), the Korean Vaccine Society (KVS), and the newly formed ISV China branch will also join the conference as co-organizers for certain special sessions.

Over the last three years, about 35 leading vaccine scientists were elected as ISV Fellows. Some of them will attend the 2016 ISV Congress to provide a historical review and the future outlook of the global vaccine field.

Now that the ISV is the sole responsible party for organizing future congresses, it has more freedom to conduct fundraising activities, which could help provide special programs to support young vaccinologists, as well as scientists from developing countries.

As in the previous congresses, the 2016 ISV Congress will hold the annual ISV General meeting for members to review the performance of the Executive Board and ISV Officers, and provide feedback on the future development of ISV and the Annual Congress.

Every ISV member is invited to provide suggestions on how to organize the 2016 Congress. We will provide regular updates on the 2016 Congress in the coming month.

Read Previous Point of Views

POINTS OF VIEW JAN 2016

Title:2016 ISV Annual Congress in Boston

After 9 years of successful collaboration on the organization of a highly respected international vaccine conference series, Elsevier and ISV have agreed to dissolve this partnership after the 9th Vaccine and ISV Congress in Seoul. ISV will move forward by organizing ISV’s own high quality non-commercial vaccine congress series in the future, with the same format and content, as we have done in the previous years. This will continue to provide a forum for ISV members and others in the fields of vaccines and immunotherapy to get together and share the most updated progress in the field of vaccines.

For previous Vaccine and ISV Annual Congresses, the ISV was fully responsible for the scientific organization of the meeting, including the selection of Scientific Committee members, selection of invited speakers, design of sessions including their chairs and speakers, review of submitted abstracts and selection of oral presentations. Elsevier mainly functioned as a partner in managing the business operations of these congresses while providing suggestions on certain speakers.

Therefore, it will be a relatively seamless transition for the future ISV Vaccine Congresses to maintain the same high-quality given ISV’s continued role as the scientific organizer. In addition, ISV will now be able to invite a wide range of publishers for vaccine-related journals and books, including Elsevier.

For 2016, the ISV has formed a transition team consisting of Dr. Margaret Liu serving as the Chair and Drs. David Weiner and Annie De Groot as Co-chairs. The transition team performed a careful analysis and selected Boston as the site of the 2016 Congress. They felt that Boston, with its numerous academic institutions, and biotech and pharmaceutical companies, will attract high-quality participants both locally and globally.

In addition, two well-established specialty vaccine conferences will also join the 2016 ISV Congress. Vaccine Renaissance 10 led by Dr. Annie De Groot, annually held in Providence, Rhode Island and the 2016 DNA Vaccine Conference, led by Dr. David Weiner and the International DNA Vaccine Society, which was held at various locations in previous years, will integrate with the 2016 ISV Congress. With inclusion of participants from these two conferences, it can be expected that the 2016 ISV Congress will be an extraordinary gathering for the global vaccine community.

Other regional vaccine groups such as the Japanese Society of Vaccines (JSV), the Korean Vaccine Society (KVS), and the newly formed ISV China branch will also join the conference as co-organizers for certain special sessions.

Over the last three years, about 35 leading vaccine scientists were elected as ISV Fellows. Some of them will attend the 2016 ISV Congress to provide a historical review and the future outlook of the global vaccine field.

Now that the ISV is the sole responsible party for organizing future congresses, it has more freedom to conduct fundraising activities, which could help provide special programs to support young vaccinologists, as well as scientists from developing countries.

As in the previous congresses, the 2016 ISV Congress will hold the annual ISV General meeting for members to review the performance of the Executive Board and ISV Officers, and provide feedback on the future development of ISV and the Annual Congress.

Every ISV member is invited to provide suggestions on how to organize the 2016 Congress. We will provide regular updates on the 2016 Congress in the coming month.

Read Previous Point of Views

POINTS OF VIEW FEB 2016

Title:D.A. Henderson, Scientist Who Helped Eradicate Smallpox, Says U.S. Is Unprepared For Bioterrorism

- by Andrea Stone

One of the nation’s preeminent scientists is speaking out for the rst time about what he says is the government’s failure to coordinate prepara- tions and response plans in the case of a biological attack or naturally occurring pandemic.

Dr. D.A. Henderson, the epidemiologist who led the global effort to eradicate smallpox and is a leading voice on biodefense, told The Huffington Post that no one is in charge when it comes to dealing with the fallout from a bioterrorism attack.

“I’ve kept quiet about this for a long time, but I’m deeply concerned,” said Henderson, who was named chief of a new Office of Public Health Preparedness in the Department of Health and Human Services soon after the 2001 anthrax attacks.

In a preview of a speech he plans to make later this month at the Public Health Preparedness Summit in Anaheim, Calif., Henderson said that a decade of work to ramp up the nation’s biodefenses on the local, state and federal levels has not resulted in an overall strategy on what to do in the critical hours a er an attack is detected.

POINTS OF VIEW SEP 2015

Title:International Society of Vaccines - A Brief Introduction for New Members

By - Professor Shan Lu

While the concept of vaccination has a much longer history than many disciplines of the biological sciences, a worldwide professional organization for vaccinologists did not come into existence until the last two decades. For many years, vaccines were only considered a specific type of clinical product and most of those working on vaccines were from pharmaceutical companies tasked with developing and manufacturing vaccines. There are, in fact, professional groups that have an overlapping interest in vaccines, such as the International Alliance of Biological Standards (IABS), whose members are experienced in either the manufacturing of biologicals (mainly vaccines) or the regulatory review of vaccines at government agencies, such the US FDA. In addition, individual country-based organizations were formed in the past for vaccine professionals in certain countries, such as the Japanese Society for Vaccines (JSV).

Vaccines received much more attention by academic researchers in the 1990s, represented by the emergence of conferences such as “Modern Approaches to New Vaccines” organized by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. With the rapid progress of immunology and a more in-depth understanding of existing and emerging pathogens, more and more basic biological scientists became interested in vaccine-related research. Discoveries, such as DNA vaccine technology in the early 1990s, challenged the previous idea that vaccines had reached their maximum potential, leading to the notion that they had limited future growth except in the area of product development. There has been a growing consensus that more fundamental research is needed, particularly to address issues around development of effective vaccines against more challenging infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and AIDS.

The need for a worldwide professional organization for scientists working on vaccine research became apparent. The International Society of Vaccines (ISV) was formally established on March 21, 1994. In the following 14 years, ISV has tried various models to organize vaccinologists working in different parts of the world, either by hiring professional service groups or working with various commercial or non-for-profit organizations to run ISV activities. Unfortunately, none of these models were effective because there was no dedicated organizational structure run by ISV itself and there was no continued effort to recruit and grow ISV membership.

In 2008, ISV went through a major reorganization. A new organizational structure was established with a new generation of leadership, and the following have been accomplished since: 1) ISV is currently registered with the State of Massachusetts, USA as a legal corporate entity; 2) ISV received an independent tax filing status from the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS); 3) subsequently, ISV received non-for-profit status with both the State of Massachusetts and the US IRS as a tax exempt organization; 4) ISV went through three open elections (in 2009, 2011, 2013) by a fully transparent and democratic process to elect members of Executive Board (EB), including ISV Officers; and 5) ISV Fellow, a special membership status, was established to recognize those people who have made a significant contribution to the field of vaccines.

Along with the above achievements, ISV has seen significant progress and the outcome has been quite impressive. ISV has grown from just a few leaders to more than 500 registered members between 2008 and 2015.

ISV 2008 2015

ISV has co-organized nine ISV Annual Global Congresses with Elsevier, publishing company for many high-quality scientific journals, including the journal, Vaccine. The ISV Annual Congress has become the world’s leading non-for-profit scientific conference in the area of vaccines, rotating among North America, Asia, and Europe at the following locations: Amsterdam, Boston, Singapore, Vienna, Seattle, Shanghai, Barcelona and Philadelphia in previous years. The 9th Congress will be held in Seoul, South Korea on Oct. 18-20, 2015.

Every two years, as part of the ISV Annual Congress, an Executive Board (EB) is elected by our regular ISV members. The current composition of the EB includes 11 members who are from countries in the North and South Americas, Europe, and Asia. A total of five Officers, including President, Secretary, Treasurer, Past-President, and President-Elect, are also elected every two years. Currently, there are 22 ISV Fellows who were nominated by general ISV members, and their final election was determined by a vote from the current ISV Fellows.

ISV has developed a highly informative website, including broad and useful information related to vaccines, such as journals, books, and conferences. Vaccinologists can also join ISV and renew their ISV membership online. A Paper of the Month is selected based on nomination by ISV members for those important reports related to new vaccine studies. An interactive forum is also included on the ISV website. In addition, ISV has developed its own social media platforms, including Facebook and LinkedIn. Each month, an ISV Newsletter is prepared including comments from ISV Fellows and EB members. ISV is open to collaboration with other professional societies, which share common interests related to vaccines, including those with certain regional representation, such as JSV, or those based on technical experience, such as IABS. ISV has established collaborations with many vaccine-related conferences by co-sponsoring and co-marketing each other’s programs.

ISV is working to expand its interactions with additional scientific journals that publish vaccine-related scientific reports, including special issues that are organized by ISV. ISV members are always welcome to make suggestions for the focus of these special issues. ISV will develop its independent annual congresses in the coming years to focus more on the interactions among ISV members and to promote significant scientific progress made by ISV members. ISV has established a number of subcommittees, which include regular ISV members. Each of these subcommittees will focus on one special area that is important to the better management and further growth of ISV.

ISV is the home of global vaccinologists. ISV members are welcome to provide constructive feedback to the EB and to ISV Officers, and more importantly, ISV members should feel compelled to invite more colleagues to join ISV, so we can work together to accomplish the ultimate objective of our profession: to develop better and safer vaccines for the promotion of global health.

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