80,000 pages of printed material were replaced by digital versions and each participant was provided with a personal tablet for the duration of the course that could also be used for note-taking. This pilot initiative was well-received and should be implemented more widely at future meetings at Les Pensières.
For Paul-Henri Lambert, ADVAC Course Director, University of Geneva: "ADVAC has entered in a new era through this move to digital technology. This will not only save trees and considerably reduce the extra weight all participants have to carry back at the end of the course, but it will also show the way for future international conferences."
Held annually at Les Pensières for the past 13 years, ADVAC brings together 65 participants and as many international speakers for 11 days of knowledge-sharing. The course is organized by Fondation Mérieux and the University of Geneva with the co-sponsorship of the European Commission (ADITEC project) and the World Health Organization.
ADVAC was designed for public and private sector scientists and decision-makers involved in vaccine development, in the elaboration of new vaccination strategies or in policy decisions, at national and international levels. Every year participants come from every continent and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offers fellowships for those attending from developing countries.
Leading figures in the field of vaccines lecture on subjects ranging from organizing clinical trials and introducing new vaccines into vaccination programs, to vaccine safety and ethical issues. This very comprehensive overview of the field is intended to facilitate critical decision-making in vaccinology.
ADVAC participants receive a diploma and the course has been awarded 60 CME credits by the European Board for the Accreditation of CME in Infectious Diseases (EBAID) and by the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS).