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'Decade of vaccines' has potential to save lives, but challenges ahead
Date:6/8/2011

e need of vaccines to treat one or more neglected diseases like hookworm infection and sleeping sickness, says Peter Hotez of the Sabin Vaccine Institute. Although some of these vaccines are in the early stages of development, an alliance of public-sector vaccine manufacturers in Latin American and Caribbean countries could push that effort along, especially if financial mechanisms are put in place to speed the process, he says.

Additional Challenges Ahead

To move forward, significant challenges need to be addressed in the science, distribution, and financing of vaccines.

  • Most of today's vaccines are based on scientific knowledge from past centuries, and breakthroughs won't happen until dramatic new approaches are found, says Adel Mahmoud, a Professor in Molecular Biology and Public Policy at Princeton University. The author calls for a renewed focus on basic scientific research, the training of a new generation of specialists experienced in new sciences, and a global "road map" that spells out clearly-defined objectives for how vaccines will be developed and deployed. To ensure success, the leaders of developing nations must be at the forefront of these activities and invest their own countries' resources, author says.

  • Without supply-chain improvements, the lives of millions of people who need vaccines will be put at risk, according to independent consultant Judith Kaufmann, Roger Miller of LMI, and independent consultant James Cheyne. Inadequate storage, distribution, and inventory management capabilities, among other problems, will only worsen when twelve new vaccines become available in low- and middle-income countries in the next decade. The authors recommend specific strategies to fortify supply chains, such as improving coordination between the people who finance and procure vaccines for shipment and those who receive and distribute them, and improving training for supply-chain managers.

  • Many coun
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Contact: Kay Campbell
kcampbell@burnesscommunications.com
301-652-1558
Burness Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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