The development of new vaccines and strengthening of immunization programs rank high among global and African public health priorities. Progress in these areas would contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, promote global health security and impact on antimicrobial resistance. Nevertheless, there is limited capacity in Africa to conduct research in vaccinology, take informed policy decisions and improve program implementation.

Keep up to date with COVID-19 work being done at Wits

Alive consortium members are leading COVID-19 vaccine trials being conducted in South Africa. Details are available on the University of the Witwatersrand website: COVID-19 portal and COVID-19 vaccine trials portal

The ‘African Leadership in Vaccinology Expertise’ (ALIVE) consortium is the South African National Research Foundation (NRF)-supported Flagship research entity of the University of the Witwatersrand. Professors Helen Rees (Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute- Wits RHI) and Shabir Madhi (Wits Vaccines & Infectious Diseases Analytics unit) spearheaded and co-ordinated the development of ALIVE and serve as co-directors


To create African expertise and leadership in vaccinology research and advocacy to significantly reduce vaccine preventable diseases over the next 15 years.


Become a unique South African and African resource, which will inspire innovation in this important field of vaccinology research spanning basic and clinical sciences, implementation science and public health expertise.


  • Create new opportunities for African global research leadership and advocacy
  • Build capacity in African vaccinology research
  • Connect and expand on and African network of vaccinology expertise

Who is ALIVE?

ALIVE partners at Wits university are internationally recognised scientists with expertise across the breadth of vaccinology research, from basic science to translational science, clinical research and implementation studies. The leadership of the ALIVE consortium play key roles in many local, regional and global vaccine and immunisation structures. Over time the consortium will integrate further internal Wits expertise from academic entities with emerging interests in this field, and aims to partner with external scientists and policymakers, to build capacity across the region and fill critical knowledge gaps for new vaccine development and deployment for vaccines considered to be priorities for African countries.

Afro-ADVAC Course

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