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Vaccine Research Center

Vaccine Research Center is a clinical research unit in the University of Tampere Medical School. Trials are carried out in cooperation with international vaccine manufacturers. The Director of the Center is Professor Timo Vesikari.



Vaccine Research Center specializes in viral vaccines for children, and is distinguished for its studies on varicella, influenza and rotavirus vaccines. The Center has been involved in cooperation with Merck, GSK, MedImmune, Sanofi Pasteur, Wyeth and Novartis, among others. Studies in Finland have had a pivotal role in the registration of two new rotavirus vaccines in the EU and the licensure of one rotavirus vaccine in the USA in 2006. A rotavirus vaccine was included in the Finnish vaccination program in 2009. The studies conducted by the Center have also been important for the USA registration of a live attenuated intranasal influenza vaccine.


Studies in 2009 have focused, among others, on meningococcal and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines, vaccines for adults and for the elderly (e.g. herpes zoster), and new epidemic and pandemic influenza vaccines.


All research projects at the Center are carried out in accordance with GCP and the laws, regulations and EU directives governing clinical trials of pharmaceuticals. Competent and experienced personnel guarantee that the research data is of the highest quality.


Vaccine Research Center usually carries out Phase II and III trials, but also conducts Phase I trials on volunteers.


Clinical vaccine research – why?

All new vaccines must be tested on their actual target group, i.e. humans. Trial participants can benefit from taking part in a vaccine trial and may receive free vaccinations not yet included in the Finnish vaccination program. This work is oriented to the implementation of new vaccines both nationally and globally.


Vaccine Research Clinics

The Center currently operates a network of 15 regional Vaccine Research Clinics. This network enables the center to carry out extensive national trials and make a major contribution to large multinational studies.


Professionally skilled staff

Vaccine Research Center employs approximately 120 full-time or part-time professionals. All staff are employed by the University of Tampere. The staff includes study physicians, public health nurses, medical laboratory technologists and administrative personnel.

Vactia vaccine research center

Vaccine Research Center:

• Vaccine trials in Tampere since 1979

• Specialized in vaccine trials involving children

• A unique network of vaccine research clinics

• GCP-trained personnel

• Phase I to Phase IV trials

• Cooperation with numerous major international vaccine manufacturers

• A pivotal role in the registration of two rotavirus vaccines (2006), an intranasal influenza vaccine (2005) and a varicella vaccine (1995)