Harveian Oration 2021 by Professor Jonathan Van-Tam - 20th Oct, 2021, 5:30 pm (UK)

Harveian Oration 2021 by Professor Jonathan Van-Tam

The Harveian Oration was established in 1656 by William Harvey (1578–1657). Each year, the RCP continues the tradition by inviting a leading doctor or scientist to speak on issues relating to their field of work.

We are delighted to announce that this year’s Harveian Oration will be given by deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam MBE, BMedSci, BM BS, DM, FFPH, FRCPath, FRSB, FRSPH, Hon FFPM, FMedSci, Hon FRCP  and entitled ‘Moving forwards, understanding backwards: respiratory virus vaccines, therapeutics, and public health policy’.

Moving forwards, understanding backwards: respiratory virus vaccines, therapeutics, and public health policy

The history of contemporary human respiratory virus pandemics is book-ended by a large and devastating pandemic in 1918-19 during which there was no access to vaccines or effective therapeutics, and the equally destructive 2019 Sars-CoV-2 pandemic during which vaccines and therapeutics have played major roles towards restoring normality. For most of the intervening period respiratory virus vaccines, when available, have been confined to influenza. Learning what we require of vaccines in terms of fulfilling public health policy goals has also evolved, but arguably at even slower speeds.  In the field of specific antiviral therapeutics, the first widely deployed class of which have been the influenza neuraminidase inhibitors, there are significant lessons to be learned from the parallel track evolution of the evidence base for effectiveness and public health policy needs.  These provide an opportunity to reset the approach to future respiratory antiviral drug development; but it requires a changed relationship with the pharmaceutical industry.
 

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