The roots of the 1st international biopharmaceutical production in the Region Centre & the social resistance against vaccination

September 01, 2016

Arcade Institute
8 Place de la Monnaie Tournois
37000 Tours



Dr Andrea Grignolio

One of most important French serial and international production of biopharmaceuticals was established in Tours by Edmond Chaumier (1853-1931) who founded the Institut Vaccinal of Tours in 1887 to locally produce a vaccine against smallpox through an original technique known as “vaccin de conserve”. Produced during 1910-1930’s in collaboration with the “Istituto Vaccinogeno” of the University of Rome —a collaboration also shown by a co-direction of the first biotechnology journal in the world, the "International Review of Vaccine"— the Chaumier’s vaccine de conserve conquered the European markets spreading to France, United Kingdom, Italy, and especially to Africa, soon reaching an international expansion and network development of the early Touraine biomedical market. Apart from a period of post-war crisis, these long-lasting regional expertises in biomedical products is still active today, putting the Region Centre at the core of French pharmaceutical research and business.

This kind of research and products (i.e. vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, biopharmaceutical drugs) is particularly subject to social resistance, due to the distorted social perception of risk applied to biomedical innovation. Concerning vaccination, the more educated and affluent parents are, paradoxically, the most critics in offering vaccines for their child (typically MMR, but also HPV, whooping cough, flu, etc.). The history of medicine shows that social resistance of vaccination could be very instructive concerning the analysis of how different social groups evaluate health risk information under uncertainty and also suggests how to manage it

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