Dear colleagues, dear friends,
On behalf of the Scientific Committee, we would like to invite you to participate in the 1st International Varicella Zoster Symposium that will be held in March 12-14th 2020, in Athens, and we are excited to share with you our perspectives for the meeting.
Although varicella and herpes-zoster are common vaccine-preventable diseases only few European countries have adopted preventive strategies of VZV/HZ infections. Knowledge gaps associated with the optimal vaccination schedule, the impact of vaccine coverage on the long-term epidemiology of varicella and herpes zoster not only in vaccinated but also in unvaccinated subjects as well as uncertainties on the immunological mechanisms for HZ development put hurdles in the introduction of universal varicella vaccination (UVV) in more European countries.
Accumulated real life evidence on the effect of UVV in the long-term epidemiology of Varicella and HZ, in countries that have adopted UVV programs in association with latest research on VZV/HZ virology and immunology have significantly contributed towards addressing these knowledge gaps.
The meeting will serve as a scientific platform for communication between epidemiologists, immunologists, virologists and healthcare professionals working in public health institutions who will summarize the current state-of-the-art knowledge on prevention of Varicella Zoster infections. During the meeting experts from USA, and Europe will share their experience on UVV programs, and discuss challenges for further implementation, knowledge gaps and ways to overcome the remaining barriers to move varicella forward as a truly vaccine preventable disease.
Sessions will include workshops and lectures. Speakers have been selected among those who are actively advancing the field with new discoveries. Ample time for detailed and dedicated discussion of all aspects of VZV/HZ infections and their prevention, and informal exchanges between participants, has been planned. After the meetings, a journal supplement with key messages of the Symposium will be published in a peer reviewed journal.We anticipate that the meeting will become an international forum on Varicella zoster virus and vaccines where comprehensive updates on the latest advances in basic and clinical research will be presented by leading experts from all over the world and new collaborations will be established.
The Symposium will be held in Athens, the enchanting capital of Greece which is world-known as the birthplace of European civilization. Modern Athens combines glorious history and rich cultural and architectural heritage with modernity and is always an attractive destination, especially during spring time.
Looking forward to welcoming you all !
Associate Professor Paediatric Infectious Diseases
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
“Agia Sophia” Children’s Hospital, 1st Dpt of Paediatrics
& Imnunobiology & Vaccinology Research Lab
University Childrens Hospital
Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology University Hospital Würzburg Germany