New project: PROTECT aims to lay the foundations for the decade of maternal vaccines

We’re happy to announce the launch of PROTECT, a new EU-funded initiative that aims to strengthen maternal vaccine trial capacity in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, and Uganda.

New project: PROTECT aims to lay the foundations for the decade of maternal vaccines

The new project will primarily focus on preparations for the upcoming Group B streptococcus (GBS) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine trials. These vaccines, specifically designed for pregnant women, have the potential to safeguard their unborn infants from these diseases.

For GBS, the burden of disease is exceptionally high in Africa, where 65% of all fetal or infant deaths from this disease occur. It is widely recognised that prevention strategies, which include both mothers and infants, are the most effective in protecting against death and disability in young infants following infection. Maternal immunisation would, therefore, provide triple protection by shielding the pregnant woman, preventing disease transmission to the child, and leading to passive immunity for the newborn through placental and breastmilk antibody transfer.

However, to bring about these positive effects, the countries need the necessary digital infrastructure. PROTECT consortium, led and run by African countries, will provide support to medical facilities in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, and Uganda to develop the disease recording and monitoring capacity of selected hospitals. This will not only enable them to collect information on disease rates but also to participate in vaccine trials, as this activity requires the ability to monitor health outcomes and vaccine safety information.

In pursuing the capacity to conduct vaccine trials, the PROTECT consortium will also analyse the understanding of and willingness to participate in vaccine trials among healthcare providers, pregnant women, and community members. Informational activities are planned to improve knowledge of clinical trials in areas where maternal immunisation would help prevent many disease cases and deaths.

LINQ will support the project in all its communication, dissemination, and exploitation activities. We are committed to ensuring the success of PROTECT and its objectives and look forward to being part of this exciting initiative.


PROTECT is a 3-year project funded by the Global Health EDCTP3 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement N° 101145724. It is led by ISGlobal, Spain (coordinator) and MU-JHU Care Limited, Uganda (scientific project lead).
Find out more about PROTECT on the project website.