Belgium is a world leader in vaccines


Belgium is a world leader in the research, development and manufacture of vaccines. This was recently confirmed by, the general association for the pharmaceutical industry in Belgium.

In the last few years nine biopharmaceutical companies - including GSK and Janssen Pharmaceuticals - have developed 77 vaccines and supplied more than 130 clinical trials in Belgium for the development of future vaccines.

Particular breakthroughs were the vaccine against glandular fever and the human papilloma virus (which can cause cervical cancer). Belgium is also playing a leading role in the current battle against ebola, resulting in two experimental vaccines which are looking promising in clinical trials. Other research taking place in Belgium includes a focus on the development of a first vaccine against malaria and increased effectiveness in flu vaccines.

Catherine Rutten, CEO, explains: "Prevention is becoming increasingly important in healthcare management, and vaccines are among the most powerful and cost effective ways available for governments to protect their citizens against infectious diseases. Thanks to our dynamic ecosystem in which biopharmaceutical companies can work together intensively with universities, Belgium has a pioneering role, which is internationally recognised, in the fields of research, development and production of vaccines. We have all the assets we need to be able to build further on this success."

Active immunisation has dramatically reduced the risk of widespread and often life-threatening infectious diseases. Today no less than 27 infectious diseases can be prevented using vaccines. Since the last century vaccination campaigns, together with improved hygiene in living conditions, have contributed significantly to the health of the population. Today more people than ever around the world benefit from safe and effective vaccines.  

Belgium also has an excellent reputation in the development of animal vaccines. Together seven pharmaceutical companies offer 204 vaccines for use in animal health. In Belgium different vaccines are being developed, both in prevention (such as avoiding infectious diseases among cattle) and in combating disease (such as diseases transmitted by insects), as well as for improving animal health (such as providing an alternative to the physical castration of piglets).