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The OPTIMMUNIZE 2022 conference takes place in Odense, Denmark, from November 9-11

Click here to register

This conference is for researchers, students, policy makers, media, and anybody with an interest in non-specific effects of vaccines

Deadline for registration has been extended to 26 October 2022

Link to Pre-conference statement

  • Jorge Dominguez-Andres
  • Eleanor Fish
  • Katie Flanagan
  • Sabra Klein
  • Tobias Kollmann
  • Frederik Schaltz-Buchholzer
  • Christine Stabell Benn

Confirmed speakers

  • Stanley Plotkin, US
  • Bali Pulendran, US
  • Carlos Martin, Spain
  • Christine Stabell Benn, Denmark
  • David Lynn, Australia
  • Denise Faustman, US
  • Frank Shann, Australia
  • Katie Flanagan, Australia
  • Mihai Netea, The Netherlands
  • Nigel Curtis, Australia
  • Ofer Levy, US
  • Paul Welega, Ghana
  • Peter Aaby, Denmark
  • Sabra Klein, US
  • Ulla Griffiths, US

The conference will start late in the morning on November 9th 2022 and close early afternoon on November 11th 2022.

Topics will include:

  • Epidemiologic studies of NSEs – new studies since 2020
  • Immunologic studies of NSEs – new studies since 2020
  • Applying NSEs of vaccines against COVID-19
  • Sex-differences in immunity and response to vaccines
  • Vaccine NSEs and non-infectious diseases
  • The roles of NSEs and potential sex-differences in vaccine responses in the elderly
  • NSEs of maternal immunization
  • NSEs: policy implications, advocacy, and impact


Get our programme on your phone with Conference Manager →

We welcome abstracts from all areas relevant to the main themes of the meeting, for both oral and poster presentations. Several oral presentations will be chosen from the abstracts submitted.

Abstracts will only be considered from registered delegates. Abstracts can be submitted online during the registration process. If you are intending to submit more than one abstract, please contact the conference organiser prior to registration.

The scientific programme committee will assess your abstract after the deadline has passed and you will be notified whether you have been selected for an oral or poster presentation.

Poster boards onsite will accommodate 118 cm high by 84 cm wide (A0-portrait) of printed material. Accepted abstracts will appear in the conference programme book and poster boards will be allocated at the conference.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 12 September 2022

Deadline for submission of late breaking abstracts: 10 October 2022


Abstract guidelines

Deadline for registration: 26October 2022
Submission of abstracts: 12 September 2022
Submission of late breaking abstracts: 10 October 2022

Register for the conference here

Networking is at the front seat at Optimmunize. Since the first Optimmunize workshop in 2010 (followed by workshops in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017 and lastly the first Optimmunize conference in 2020),  the meetings have given rise to numerous collaborations between participants. Therefore, the conference is organized as an entirely physical conference. There will be adequate breaks in the program and several social events which allows for networking between the participants.

For those arriving early, on the 8th there will be a free guided city tur around Odense, the birth town of Hans Christian Andersen, followed by an informal dinner at Storm’s. On the 9th we will have a conference dinner at the University restaurant. On the 10th there is an optional joint dinner in Odense. On the 11th, many go back to Copenhagen, here Christine will organize a joint dinner for those interested.

We welcome journalists.

For more information and press cards contact.
We will follow the guidance from the Danish Health Authorities at the time of the event to mitigate any COVID-19 related risk

Three levels of sponsorship are available for Optimmunize 2022
Platinum (10,000 Euro +)
Gold (5,000-9,999 Euro)
Silver (1,000-4,999 Euro)

All sponsors at each level will be recognized at the opening and closing speeches and in the
conference programme book

Silver sponsors:

Read more about accomodation in Odense →

Read more about Odense as a destination →

Link to view and download our programme →


Optimmunize: Improving the beneficial effects of vaccines.

In 2020, just before the pandemic hit, the world’s 1st conference on non-specific and sex-differential effects of vaccines was held in Cambridge, UK: Optimmunize: Improving the beneficial effects of vaccines (read more).

We had 100 participants from around the world and our meeting was heralded as a great success: the evaluations were overwhelmingly positive; many expressed that it was the best conference they had attended in years. 

At that 2020 meeting we discussed whether vaccines exhibiting beneficial non-specific effects have a role to enhance immunity in the interim ahead of SARS-CoV-2-specific vaccine availability. Subsequently, many of us who had attended the conference initiated randomized trials to test this hypothesis; results are anticipated in the coming months. 

There have been other exciting developments in the field that emphasize the need for a follow-up conference. Accordingly, we are now planning for
Optimmunize 2022’ to take place in Denmark, at the Danish Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Southern Denmark, from  November 9-11, 2022


Our intent is to attract eminent international research scientists, policy makers, journal editors and major foundations to engage in open-minded and fulsome discussions surrounding non-specific and sex-differential effects of vaccines, and how emerging knowledge may be applied for improved public health. 

We will discuss and explore various aspects of the non-specific effects of vaccines, including their impact on neonates and infants, how generalisable and durable these effects are, the implications for geriatric medicine, and why non-specific effects should differ between sexes and across the lifespan. The objective is to have an open and transparent discussion of the science, while focusing on how to further optimize the use of vaccines.

We would like to encourage networking and discussion and welcome particularly young researchers to engage with speakers and fellow delegates. We invite early career scientists to prepare one critical question relevant to the meeting topics.

Further reading:

As we waited for specific SARS-CoV-2 vaccines to be developed, many trials around the world has tested the hypothesis that non-specific effects (NSEs) afforded by existing vaccines might be beneficial in adults, reducing the incidence and/or severity of COVID-19. The OPTIMMUNIZE webinar includes exciting preliminary results from such trials, kindly shared by international scientists that conducted them in many different countries. Vaccines tested include BCG vaccine, measles-containing vaccines (MMR) and oral polio vaccines. Should they be in our pandemic toolbox?

Watch it here

Speakers: Mihai Netea (NL), Evangelos Giamarellos-Bourboulis (GR), Andreas Diacon (SA), Anne Marie Rosendahl Madsen (DK), Denise Faustman (US), Edison Fedrizzi (BR), Gerald Parzmair (GER)

and Ane Fisker (DK).

Members of the OPTIMMUNIZE consortium have jointly written an article, "The non-specific and sex-differential effects of vaccines", published in Nature Immunology.


The textbook view of vaccination is that it functions to induce immune memory of the specific pathogen components of the vaccine, leading to a quantitatively and qualitatively better response if the host is exposed to infection with the same pathogen. However, evidence accumulated over the past few decades increasingly suggests that vaccines can also have non-specific effects on unrelated infections and diseases, with important implications for childhood mortality particularly in low-income settings. Furthermore, many of these non-specific effects, as well as the pathogen-specific effects, of vaccines show differences between the sexes. Here, members of the Optimmunize consortium discuss the evidence for and potential mechanisms of non-specific and sex-differential effects of vaccines, as well as their potential policy implications. Given that the non-specific effects of some vaccines are now being tested for their ability to protect against COVID-19, the authors also comment on the broader implications of these trials.

Link to the full article:


Editing was completed: 01.12.2021