In September 2023 the Oxford Vaccine Group (OVG) and Pandemic Sciences Institute (PSI) of the University of Oxford announced the commencement of a study investigating a vaccine against Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF). The study is led by Professor Teresa Lambe, OBE, Principal Investigator, who co-designed the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Her team has been developing a vaccine against CCHF using a similar technology for the last 5 years.  


CCHF is a tick-borne viral disease that can be life-threatening. Symptoms include high fever, muscle pain, abnormal light sensitivity, abdominal pain, and vomiting. Later symptoms can include sharp mood swings or confusion and aggression. The disease is fatal in up to 40% of hospital-admitted cases, but there are no approved treatments or vaccines.  

It is endemic across Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East, and Asia, and is now spreading to other areas like parts of Europe. There is an “urgent and ongoing need” for vaccines against CCHF as it has pandemic potential.  


The vaccine is based on the ChAdOx2 vector, a weakened adenovirus that cannot replicate in humans. This is similar to the technology that was successfully used in the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. It will be administered to healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55 in the Oxfordshire area. Participants will be dosed twice, 12 weeks apart. They will be closely monitored for the following 12 months to understand their responses to the vaccine and if they produce antibodies to CCHF.  

Professor Lambe commented that as there are no approved vaccines or treatments, but “sadly up to 40% of people admitted to hospital with the disease will die”, there is a significant medical need.  

“In the absence of a vaccine, the only way to reduce infection is to raise awareness of the risk factors and signs of the disease.”  

Thus, the trial is an “important step” in the development of a vaccine. Professor Lambe hopes that the vaccine will “offer a real-life solution to keep people safe from this deadly virus”.  

For more on the trial, click here to view the details.  Don’t forget to subscribe for more like this!