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Celebrate Vaccines day: 26 March 2020

On 26 March 2020, the British Society for Immunology launched #CelebrateVaccinesour virtual campaign to champion the role of vaccinations.

Vaccines are a marvel of modern medicine. They protect us from preventable diseases enabling many of us to live longer and more healthy lives.

To acknowledge their critical role in global public health, we took to social media for a day of advocacy, education and celebration - and we weren't alone! We would like to extend a huge thank you to the individuals and organisations who celebrated vaccines with us. Here, we bring you some highlights from the day:

We will continue the conversation going online and we will be back soon with more exciting initiatives to #CelebrateVaccines! Tag us @britsocimm if you have any vaccine-related resource you want us to share.

BSI member Louisa James @louisakjames, showed off her artistic skills by beautifully colouring in our new scientifically accurate drawing of an antibody, which is produced by our B cells when we encounter a pathogen to mark them up for destruction by our heroic immune system.

Interactive & creative

  • Dr. Jenner’s House, Museum and Garden @DrJennersHouse got us quizzing! And many of you knew that vaccines save 2-3 million lives each year.
  • @TheCrick flu researcher Lizzie Horton, answered your vaccine research questions live during a lunchtime virtual 'Meet A Scientist'.
  • Scientist-turned-artist @DrLizzieBurns created new drawings to #CelebrateVaccines and the beauty of our immune system at a tiny scale, including our protective heroic white blood cells. 

Informative threads & articles

  • Dr. Jenner’s House, Museum & Garden @DrJennersHouse, compiled an excellent thread about how the world treated deadly diseases, such as smallpox, before vaccines including the discovery of inoculation & subsequent creation of vaccination.
  • Our London Immunology Group @London_immuno shared the polio vaccine success story & celebrated those organisations working hard to ensure the most vulnerable are protected.
  • Imperial College’s Faculty of Medicine @ImperialMed introduced us to Prof Robin Shattock @roboskis who is leading a team to develop a vaccine against Covid-19 to induce protective immune responses.
  • BSI member and @uniofbrighton immunologist, Dr Nadia Terrazzini, wrote about how important vaccines are, especially now as “we are living through the biggest case study of what the world would look like without vaccines”
  • @museumgirlldn Katherine McAlpine shared incredible photographs from the Imperial War Museums collections of First World War soldiers (& horses!) receiving their vaccinations before being sent abroad.

We were incredibly grateful to have @gavi the Vaccine Alliance support #CelebrateVaccines by sharing our new infographic that explains how life-threatening diseases are now rare in young children in the UK.

Engaging infographics

  • The not-for-profit organisation Understanding Animal Research @animalresearch shared a brilliant infographic explaining how long it takes to create a safe & effective vaccine from lab research through to clinical trials.
  • BSI member, James Harker @HarkerImmuno shared our important infographic which shows the life-saving effects of the measles, diphtheria and whooping cough vaccines for children.
  • The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene @RSTMH explained what #herdimmunity is using our new infographic. By vaccinating yourself, you’re also protecting the most vulnerable in your community.
  • BSI Public Engagement Secretary Donald J. Davidson @djdavidsonlab used our explainer infographic to showcase how effective
    vaccines are in saving lives and stopping diseases.
  • Taams Lab at King's College London used our infographic to highlight that vaccines are safe, effective and save lives. We should not take them for granted.

Educational videos and animations

  • @VaccinesToday shared two informative animations about how vaccines have had a significant impact on children's health over the course of history, and how vaccines are developed & rigorously tested to ensure they are safe & effective.
  • BSI member John Tregoning @DrTregoning explained how vaccines work in a short video featuring chickens & his daughter. Vaccines train our immune system to recognise infection, much like a chicken is trained to follow the sound of its lunch!
  • The BactiVac Network @BactiVac produced a short video of their Director, Professor Cal MacLennan, highlighting the importance of vaccines on global health.
  • Cellular and molecular immunologist, Nicolas Fazilleau @N_Fazlleau, shared a fantastic video by the Oxford Vaccine Group @OxVaccineGroup all about how vaccines work.
  • The Royal College of Pathologists @RCPath shared their great animation explaining the importance of herd immunity.

Shout-outs for vaccines!

  • NHS GP and TV doctor @Dr_Ellie reminded us how lucky we are to have childhood vaccinations to protect us from deadly diseases.
  • Labour and Cooperative MP for Oxford East, @AnnelieseDodds, celebrated the importance of supporting the responsible use of vaccines & actively countering misinformation.
  • TV presenter @DrMichaelMosley reckons vaccines are the greatest human invention ever! According to the WHO, only clean drinking water rivals vaccination in its ability to save lives.
  • BSI Trustee Matthias Eberl @eberlmat highlighted our ‘A guide to childhood vaccination’ as an evidence-based, accurate sources of information & myth busting for parents who may have questions about vaccines.
  • Deborah Dunn-Walters @beecellnumbers celebrated all the vaccine successes so far while noting that we are currently seeing the reality of a disease without a vaccination.
  • Our BSI West Midlands Group @Immuno_WM joined us to #CelebrateVaccines and their great global health achievement by sharing our fun GIF.
  • Thank you to The Royal Society of Medicine @RoySocMed for supporting #CelebrateVaccines.
  • The Blizard Institute @blixard_inst joined us to #CelebrateVaccines and recognise that life-threatening diseases that used to be common in young children in the UK are now rare thanks to vaccines!
  • The European Animal Research Association @The _EARA explained how vaccines are developed, illustrating how the use of animal research in the process is vital.
  • Lesmahagow High School Biology Department @LesmahagowBIO joined in to #CelebrateVaccines and learn about the global impact of vaccines in saving lives & improving health.

Celebrate Vaccines BSI