From September 12 to 14, 2022, the IDEVAX team attended the 16th Vaccine Congress by Elsevier and Vaccine at Riva del Garda in Italy. This conference provided important updates in the fields of vaccinology, infectious diseases, SARS Covid-19, the newly emerging Monkeypox virus, and innovative vaccination strategies.
We presented a poster titled “Preclinical Evaluation through the Safety and Performance of VAX-ID for Intradermal Delivery of Vaccines” for which our team won the Best Poster Award.
This conference was a great occasion to communicate our latest regarding VAX-ID®, a device suited for accurate, reliable and easy intradermal vaccination next to learning more about the current ongoing Covid–19 pandemic, dilemmas of vaccine hesitancy, and the new emerging global health emergency – Monkeypox.
We’ve created our takeaways following our attendance and participations in various interesting sessions :
Covid-19 and Monkeypox– Days of Present Past
- The current time witnessed unprecedented acceleration of vaccine development; the era previous to Covid-19 vaccines development needed a timeframe of 10-20 years from discovery to phase III, whereas Covid-19 pandemic boosted the process to achieve vaccines development in a mere 10 months. Covid-19 vaccines R&D phases were happening in parallel rather sequential as it used to be.
- Current vaccines against Covid-19 are frail when it comes to protection against infection; however, these vaccines are meant to protect from severe diseases following infection and to prevent against long Covid due to the mucosal mAbs that build up with the vaccinations.
- Monkeypox virus is a double-stranded DNA virus; hence, mutations will be limited when compared to the corona virus that causes Covid-19 which is an RNA virus.
- Availability of vaccines for Monkeypox virus is limited. However, recommendations are to administer post-exposure prophylaxis for those in close contact with Monkeypox virus patients as the vaccine has shown to prevent the virus from infection up to 10 days post-exposure. This will imply further demand on a scarce source of vaccines.
Intradermal Vaccination to Combat Monkeypox Virus
- While the intradermal route of administration was only recently brought under the attention by various authorities as approved route for the monkeypox vaccine delivery; this vaccination route has been practiced for a long time, dating back to the Jenner’s variolation late 19th century.
- Intradermal vaccination is on the radar due to its dose-sparing characteristics. FDA & EMA have approved 20% of the subcutaneous dose for intradermal use.
- Mantoux is the standard of care to deliver intradermal injections. There are some challenges known about this technique as it requires special training, and there is an issue with usability, where 18-41% of injections fail due to leakage (Flynn PM et al Influence of needle gauge in Mantoux skin testing, Chest 1994; 106; 1463-65).
- There are limited number of medical devices to offer reliable Intradermal injections. VAX-ID® offers a promising solution due to its standardized, accurate, and user-independence merits.
Vaccination Hesitancy and Anti-vaxx
- Covid-19 vaccines hesitancy exists widely and especially in parents that have been vaccinated themselves but seem hesitant to get their children vaccinated. In addition, a significant number of vaccine hesitancy comes from people who wanted to get vaccination but found it hard to access.
- The Covid-19 pandemic fuels the largest continued backslide in vaccination for the past three decades. General vaccines campaigns had less compliance than the years before.
- There is not vaccine that is 100% safe and effective; proving an absolute safety of vaccine is imaginary but cannot be guaranteed at this stage. In that based the dilemma and the linked hesitancy seen.
- A multi-faceted approach seems needed to overcome barriers in vaccination: individual, institutional, and public policy levels. This approach could improve vaccination uptake & enhance the performance of vaccination programs.
To sum up, the 16th vaccine congress was a great gathering point to share and learn about the latest epidemiological data regarding Covid-19 and Monkeypox virus, the various vaccines platforms currently available, as well as vaccines delivery technologies. The IDEVAX team enjoyed the conference and was very honoured to have won the best poster award.
To end, we’d like to share what we felt to be the best quote of the conference:
“A WINNER IS A DREAMER WHO NEVER GIVES UP” .