Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve learnt a number of incredibly important lessons on public health. We’ve learnt the UK government was woefully and unnecessarily unprepared to handle a pandemic of this kind. We’ve learnt that public investment and a publicly owned health service have delivered the protection and public health response we needed. And finally, that privatisation is a word synonymous with disaster.
The Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) should – in its very design – recognise these lessons. The VMIC is based in Oxfordshire and was launched in 2018 with more than £200m of public funding. It is the UK’s first strategic vaccine development and advanced manufacturing facility and it is set to become fully operational in 2022.
Given its role in innovation, development and manufacturing of vaccines, the VMIC has the potential to be central to preparing the country for future pandemics. Presently, it exists as a not for profit company in which a consortium of public universities – University of Oxford, Imperial College and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – are shareholders.
Full article, The Lowdown, 30 March 2022