The Vaccine Evaluation Center (VEC) was established in 1988. It was the first academic center for independent vaccine research in Canada and, over the last 32 years, has been a national leader in vaccinology research — completing over 240 projects. The VEC is jointly supported by BC Children's Hospital Research Institute and the University of British Columbia.

The objective of the VEC is to develop a focus of recognized excellence in all aspects of vaccine research and evaluation. To meet this objective, the VEC has assembled a team of vaccine experts with extensive experience in local and provincial public health, pediatrics, infectious diseases, immunology, laboratory research, data management and study design. Research projects have spanned basic vaccine science, pre-licensure clinical trials, epidemiology research, post-marketing evaluation including optimizing immunization schedules, social science, promotional and programmatic research as well as laboratory-based assay development.

The VEC has served as a lead center for many multi-center studies, is capable of conducting large and rapid recruitment trials, and has well-established Standard Operating Procedures for data and clinical management of studies.

As the first such Center in Canada, it represents an innovative approach to conducting vaccine research. It provides a means to independently assess vaccine performance — an approach appealing both to manufacturers and government.