Center for Vaccine Ethics & Policy
A program of
- Division of Medical Ethics, NYU Medical School
- The Wistar Institute Vaccine Center
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Vaccine Education Center
The ‘decade-of-vaccines’ ahead will require an independent voice — analyzing, clarifying and challenging the aims, impact and ethics of the global immunization and vaccines enterprise.
The Center for Vaccine Ethics and Policy (CVEP) intends to be that independent voice.
Supported by its governing institutions — the Division of Medical Ethics, NYU Medical School; The Wistar Institute Vaccine Center, and the Vaccine Education Center of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia — CVEP will engage the full life-cycle of issues around global immunization and vaccines:
- building and refining the ethical frameworks that help assure that policy proceeds from values and aligns with their implications,
- analyzing and communicating about vaccine evidence, ethics and policy in scholarly journals, the media and in other fora,
- innovating new analytical, visualization and decision approaches to address these issues, and
- convening the full vaccine community to consider evidence, ethics and practical solutions, addressing opportunity and performance.
We proceed from a belief that the ethical imperative for vaccine policy is to accelerate the development and delivery of needed vaccines — producing sustained immunity and therapeutic benefit for all people at risk – assuring ethical, affordable, and equitable access regardless of circumstance or geography.
Acting on this belief and our intent above, we are building a record of contribution to the field highlighted by recent and ongoing CVEP projects, symposia, and consulting engagements, and contributions to similar initiatives organized by foundations, governments, NGOs, academia and industry.
Governance for the Center is led by Dr. Arthur L. Caplan, Head, Division of Medical Ethics, NYU Medical School; Dr. Paul A. Offit, Head of Infectious Diseases at CHOP, and The Wistar Institute president and CEO Russel E. Kaufman, M.D. The Center’s Executive Director is David R. Curry, MS.
An Advisory Board provides additional oversight for CVEP and currently includes Dr. Stanley A. Plotkin, MD, Emeritus Professor of the University of Pennsylvania; Walter A. Orenstein, MD, Professor of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine and Associate Director, Emory Vaccine Center; and Christian Loucq, MD, Director General, International Vaccine Institute (IVI).
Recognizing the gap in bioethics research and policy analysis in the vaccine field, the Penn Center for Bioethics of the University of Pennsylvania launched its Ethics of Vaccines Project in early 2005. Seed funding was received from the Penn Provost’s Interdisciplinary Seminar Fund and Penn Center for Aids Research (CFAR) http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/aids/.
A project working group of 40 was formed, drawn from across the Penn community including the School of Medicine, the Law School, Wharton, the Annenberg School, and a number of life science disciplines, as well leaders from outside Penn from the public health community, the media, collaborating faculty at Columbia and Johns Hopkins, as well as from The Wistar Institute and major vaccine makers. The working continues to meet for regular seminar meting exploring a broad range of ethical and policy issues affecting vaccines and their public health impacts.
In late 2006, the Penn Center for Bioethics partnered with The Wistar Institute, one of the pioneers in vaccines research and development, to strengthen the project team. Wistar president and CEO Russel E. Kaufman, M.D. commented, “The Wistar Institute’s proud tradition of leadership in basic research has produced some of the most dramatically effective vaccines in history. Wistar is the perfect partner for Penn’s Center for Bioethics to produce a thoughtful and actionable ethical framework guiding the entire vaccine life cycle.”
Also in 2006, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the #1 ranked children’s hospital in the nation, and its Vaccines Education Center became a partner, significantly strengthening the leadership team. Dr. Paul Offit, head of Infectious Diseases at CHOP and a founding member of the project, commented, “As a number of new vaccines are entering public health and clinical practice, it is more important than ever to have clear, accurate information about vaccines and their critical role in public health. The Ethics of Vaccines Project is making an important contribution to clear thinking about vaccine policy, safety and ethical issues, and by doing so, helping parents, patients, clinicians and the public health professionals make informed choices and use vaccines more effectively.”
Leveraging three years of program development in the continuing Ethics of Vaccines Project, the Center for Bioethics, Wistar and CHOP formed The Center for Vaccines Ethics and Policy in 2008. The Center initiated a continuing series of public forums on vaccines issues with The Franklin Institute Science Museum, and launched a consulting capability on vaccine ethics and policy issues.
The Center welcomes inquiries on its programs, working group, consulting capabilities and other information.
Please contact either:
- David R. Curry, MS, Executive Director of the Center at email@example.com (001.267.251.2305) or
- Dr. Arthur L. Caplan, Head, Division of Medical Ethics, NYU Langone Medical Center Arthur.Caplan@nyumc.org