Since 2011, the Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) has organized a vaccinology course for immunization managers in Latin America. Launched under the direction of Dr. Ciro de Quadros, who served as Sabin’s executive vice president until his passing in 2014, the course was a response to the desire of those working in immunization programs for access to the latest information. From his experience as director of the Division of Vaccines and Immunization at the Pan American Health Organization, Dr. de Quadros knew the power of sharing best practices and creating communities of knowledge, and their impact on the performance of immunization programs at all levels.

Now named in his honor, the Ciro de Quadros Vaccinology Course for Latin America is the only Spanish-language vaccinology course in the world. By partnering with local universities, Sabin works to continually refine the topics covered to ensure their relevance and technical accuracy. For the first three years, Sabin collaborated with the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia to host the course in Lima, Peru. From 2014 to 2016, Sabin partnered with the Universidad de los Andes and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, Chile. Since 2017, the course has been held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in collaboration with Universidad ISALUD, with the most recent iteration convened November 4-7, 2019.

To date, more than 280 attendees from 18 countries in Central and South America have participated in the course. These attendees include immunization managers working at the national and sub-national levels who are responsible for the day-to-day implementation of vaccine programs in their respective territories. The course fulfills a strong demand from this community for the latest information on vaccines, provides them with skills to better communicate a vaccine’s life-saving potential, and equips them to make evidence-based decisions. Participants also learn to become more effective advocates for immunization in their home countries in order to help increase immunization coverage.

In addition to technical knowledge, leadership and communication skills are major tools in our collective efforts to combat misinformation and to not only maintain but increase vaccination coverage rates across the region. Apart from presentations by more than 20 speakers, attendees at this year’s course also benefited from the collective experiences shared by their peers and were introduced to Sabin’s online, global community of immunization managers to continue sharing their experiences and discuss solutions to their challenges.

Those who were unable to attend the course can still access Vaccinology in Latin America: A Resource for Immunization Managers, a book developed by course presenters based on feedback provided by course participants over the years. The extraordinary faculty of course teachers have captured key points of their lectures to provide immunization professionals in Latin America and around the world with the basics of vaccinology. The book is available digitally in both English and Spanish.

Presentations from past courses are also available on Sabin's website and have collectively been viewed more than half a million times. View presentations from the 2019 course here.

Planning is now underway for the 2020 Ciro de Quadros Vaccinology Course for Latin America. Learn more about the 2019 course or view the photo gallery.