Human infection challenge in the pandemic era and beyond, HIC-Vac annual meeting report, 2022.
Barnes MVC., Mandla A., Smith E., Maskuniitty M., Openshaw PJM., HIC-Vac meeting contributors None.
HIC-Vac is an international network of researchers dedicated to developing human infection challenge studies to accelerate vaccine development against pathogens of high global impact. The HIC-Vac Annual Meeting (3rd and 4th November 2022) brought together stakeholders including researchers, ethicists, volunteers, policymakers, industry partners, and funders with a strong representation from low- and middle-income countries. The network enables sharing of research findings, especially in endemic regions. Discussions included pandemic preparedness and the role of human challenge to accelerate vaccine development during outbreak, with industry speakers emphasising the great utility of human challenge in vaccine development. Public consent, engagement, and participation in human challenge studies were addressed, along with the role of embedded social science and empirical studies to uncover social, ethical, and regulatory issues around human infection challenge studies. Study volunteers shared their experiences and motivations for participating in studies. This report summarises completed and ongoing human challenge studies across a variety of pathogens and demographics, and addresses other key issues discussed at the meeting.