Established in 1962, the network is a national resource for vaccine development. VTEU investigators have tested and advanced vaccines for many diseases, including pneumonia, influenza, cholera, whooping cough, malaria, and tuberculosis. Childhood vaccines and so-called combination vaccines the delivery of several vaccines at the same time have been and remain an important part of the network's research agenda. The first trial of an edible vaccine was conducted by VTEU researchers, and other novel vaccine delivery systems, such as an influenza vaccine delivered via a nasal spray, have been extensively tested through the network.
"For 40 years, the VTEUs have provided an important mechanism for conducting vaccine clinical trials in a variety of populations, including infants, children, adults, and specific high-risk populations," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "More recently, part of this network's mission has been to evaluate vaccines against possible agents of bioterrorism."
An important strength of the VTEU network is its ability to rapidly recruit and retain volunteers. Through the VTEUs, NIAID quickly designed and implemented a multicenter clinical trial to evaluate the feasibility of diluting existing smallpox vaccine. Together, the VTEUs enrolled and vaccinated 680 volunteers in less than three months. Initial findings of this study were recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The result
Contact: Jeff Minerd
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases