What we offer

The University of Lausanne (UNIL) is offering an International Master in Vaccinology (IMVACC) developed by the Swiss Vaccine Research Institute (SVRI) and the Health Sciences e-Training Foundation (HSeT) in collaboration with the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV).


What you get

IMVACC comprises one year of on-line teaching of vaccinology followed by a six months to one year master thesis on a vaccine-related activity (industry, basic or translational research, regulatory affairs, etc.). The thesis project can be carried out in the trainee’s institution or in a hosting laboratory. Graduates will gain a broad knowledge of how vaccines are designed, developed, manufactured and implemented through public health programs.


Nobubelo Ngandu, Scientist at the South African Medical Research Council, in Cape Town, has defended her Master thesis on “A proof-of-concept for a bioinformatics platform to track genetic diversity of transmitted-founder viruses and coverage by vaccine immunogens, in search for HIV-1 subtype C correlates of protection in Southern Africa. She received her diploma and 60 ETCS credits from the University of Lausanne.

One Dintwe currently holds the position of Research Officer in the Cape Town HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) Immunology Laboratory (CHIL) located in South Africa.
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Benjamin Watyaba is a medical doctor and a researcher at Uganda Virus Research since 2021. He is currently coordinating two studies: Clinical Characterization of Protocol for Covid-19 disease and implementation of Point of Care HIV viral load monitoring in East Africa.
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Deshnee Achary, a student of the International Master of Vaccinology (IMVACC) class 2021, working at Pfizer vaccines in Johannesburg South Africa, received an award from the former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki and The University of South Africa Principal and Vice-Chancellor (VC), Professor Puleng LenkaBula, who honored her for the work she has done in vaccines for the past 17years.  Read More..

Duduzile Ndwandwe, from South Africa, has defended with success her IMVACC Master thesis entitled “Prevalence and determinants of missed opportunities for vaccination in South Africa: a multi-level analysis”. She has been awarded the diploma and 60 ECTS from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
Duduzile Ndwandwe was honored in 2021 by the South Africa Medical Research Council as a champion woman. She has published 31 peer-reviewed articles in high-impact factor journals and is the team leader for clinical trial registration and vaccine implementation research projects at Cochrane South Africa, where she shares her vaccinology expertise with colleagues.
In addition, she serves on various global COVID-19 clinical research networks. In her private capacity, Duduzile organised a Career Expo for High School learners from underprivileged communities in July 2019.

Vojislav Cvjetković, a Veterinary Services Manager at SwineCeva Düsseldorf (Deutscland) has obtained his diploma with 60 ETCs credits after successfully defending his master thesis  entitled “A systematic review on adjuvants in inactivated chicken, salmon, and swine vaccines”.

Covid-19 and vaccine development

With the Covid-19 pandemic, IMVACC has added SARS-CoV-2 to its existing section on coronaviruses that already included SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV. The new content includes information on the biology of the coronaviruses, the spread of COVID-19 across the globe, and strategies to contain it. Links to the most relevant sources of information and to important publications are also included. The content is updated weekly and is available to all IMVACC students.

IMVACC Class 2020

The 16 students have registered and started the program by completing the prerequisites and the associated quizzes. They met on January 13-15 2020 for a kickoff meeting in Lausanne during which they have been trained in the use of the Moodle eLearning platform and on how to perform team work at distance.


Due to load shedding to prevent an imbalance in electricity supply and subsequent blackout in South Africa, our South African students download the IMVACC modules to work on a standalone mode  and use  candles to see their keyboard.

IMVACC class 2019.

The 8  students have completed the first year and successfully passed the final exam. They are now starting their master thesis project.

IMVACC Class 2018.

The 5 trainees have completed the first year and passed the final exam in January 2019. They are currently working on their master thesis project. They will defend their master thesis during the year

IMVACC Class 2016.

All students have completed the master program and have received 60 ECTS credits and the diploma from the Lausanne University. The thesis work of Nicolas Peyraud has been published in Vaccine (2019. 37:4427-4434) with the title “Potential use of microarray patches for vaccine delivery in low- and middle- income countries”.

The documentary “Vaccines why are they scary” (Les Vaccins pourquoi font-ils peur) has been presented on October within the Swiss medical television documentary program “36.9” created by Isabelle Moncada. Alain Meystre from the Health Sciences eTraining Foundation (HSeT) has created the English subtitles.
Why do some parents worry about getting their children vaccinated? Where does this fear come from? 36.9 ° went to meet those who doubt. To get out of mistrust and sterile debates between pro and anti-vaccines, it is worthwhile to examine them separately, vaccine by vaccine, in light of the benefits and risks of each.

Click on image to see Vidéo.
In late 2018, the Global Vaccine Training Collaborative set up a workshop in Annecy France to provide a landscape of the vaccinology education around the world.  It allowed to collate information about more than 20 courses that are listed in the Global vaccinology training e-portal with links to their websites.
To develop the vaccines of the future
Scientists, physicians, and engineers with a broad knowledge in vaccines are needed to respond to the threats of emerging diseases and to continue the development of vaccines against tuberculosis, enteric infections, AIDS and malaria. Existing vaccines also need to be updated to take advantage of the progress in manufacturing and quality control technologies. IMVACC students will acquire a broad knowledge of how vaccines are designed, developed, manufactured and implemented through public health programs.
To develop a network of vaccinologists

To contribute more efficiently to the development of vaccines, IMVACC students will be provided with the opportunity to work on real-life questions and situations encountered in vaccine development and to develop their professional network. They will gain broad scientific, strategic and technical experience applicable to their work environment. Vaccine experts are also needed to help counter the rising skepticism of people regarding the safety and efficacy of vaccines.

To foster interactions between the IMVACC trainees, an IMVACC online portal will be set up shortly to allow all the students, former and present, to view updates of the course and  to share their experience

For professionals in medical sciences
IMVACC has been designed for a broad population of medical science professionals who are actively engaged in a professional work environment and who want to broaden and deepen their knowledge of vaccines.
Tutor-assisted on-line teaching
The flexible on-line teaching approach accommodates the time constraints of the trainees and saves long-distance travel and housing expenses. It also allows the students to engage in individual and group activities with the support of tutors. These features set IMVACC apart from existing vaccinology courses.

“With its on-line, tutor-supported teaching approach, IMVACC offers a new way to train students in vaccinology across the World. It fits well with the goal of WHO to build capacity for science and research, especially in low- and middle-income countries.”

Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, former Assistant Director-General, WHO, Geneva