Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

Product Development for Vaccines Advisory Committee (established April 2014)

Meetings, terms of reference and composition


Terms of reference

The overall mandate of PDVAC is to provide independent and expert advice to the Director of WHO’s Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals Department (IVB) related to pathogen areas with candidate vaccines or technologies, generally at the Phase 2 stage of clinical evaluation or earlier, and prior to the development of WHO policy on use.

PDVAC’s mission is to accelerate product development of vaccines and technologies that are urgently needed and ensure they are appropriately targeted for use in low and middle income contexts.

The majority of PDVAC’s scope of work focuses on the following core activities:

  • Identifying priority pathogens and technologies where there is evident public health need for a vaccine, and defining how WHO engagement would result in a clear benefit related to product development;
  • Defining the strategic public health goals and global value proposition for vaccines and technologies, in the context of other disease interventions and competing R&D priorities (including the development of products that are targeted to high income country markets);
  • Developing the preferred product characteristics of vaccines, specifically from the perspective of LMICs, with the goal of informing target product profiles to accelerate product development and reduce the timeframe to access of vaccines in LMIC contexts;
  • Developing technical R&D roadmaps for vaccines and technologies that articulate the research, product development and capacity needs, and proactively position a candidate for LMIC licensure and a positive policy recommendation;
  • Building consensus among global stakeholders, particularly with respect to product development strategy, including clinical endpoints and regulatory pathways;
  • Educating vaccine developers and other stakeholders with respect to the specific data needs for vaccine approval and uptake in LMICs, and advocating for these to be considered early on in product development.

Terms of reference

Current committee members


  • Salim Abdulla, Ifakara Health Institute, United Republic of Tanzania.
  • Klaus Cichutek, Paul Ehrlich Institut, Germany.
  • Sinead Delany-Moretlwe Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, South Africa
  • Bernard Fritzell, BFL Conseils, France.
  • Barney Graham, Vaccine Research Center, NIAID, USA.
  • Ruth Karron, Center for Immunization Research, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, USA.
  • David Kaslow, PATH, USA.
  • Claudio Lanata, US Naval Medical Research Unit No 6, Peru.
  • Mair Powell, Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, United Kingdom.
  • Yiming Shao, Department of Research on Virology and Immunology, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, China.
  • Peter Smith, MRC Tropical Epidemiology Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom.

WHO Secretariat

  • Birgitte Giersing