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French Agency Receives 10 Million Dollar Grant From the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Support the Establishment of National Vaccine Advisory Committees in Africa and Asia
Date:7/30/2008

PARIS, July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The French agency Agence de Medecine Preventive (AMP) has received a grant of 10 million dollars from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the development of National Vaccine Advisory Committees in Africa and Asia. These Committees will help the National Health Authorities of GAVI eligible[1] countries to implement vaccination policy and programs adapted to their needs and to introduce new vaccines. AMP will develop this project in partnership with the International Vaccine Institute (IVI, Seoul) and in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), and its regional and national offices.

Vaccine advisory committees exist predominantly in developed countries, where their role is to make recommendations to national governments on vaccine policy. In the absence of such expert committees, most poorer countries rely on advice from international agencies, and often do not establish their own national recommendations.

"National expertise is particularly needed today with the availability of new vaccines against meningitis, pneumonia, diarrhea, cervical cancer, and various forms of viral encephalitis, which could be introduced shortly," said Philippe Stoeckel, Chairman of AMP. The situation may become more complex with the development of vaccines against malaria, HIV, and other diseases, which could become available in the coming years. While they can provide protection against some of the world's leading killers, these vaccines may be expensive, may require new approaches for the organization of vaccination, and may compete for limited resources with other health-care priorities. Important efforts have been made by the GAVI Alliance and Fund (formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization) to strengthen immunization programs and introduce new vaccines in developing countries. For sustainable progress to be made, it is important for countries to design their own vaccination strategies according
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SOURCE Agence de Medecine Preventive (AMP)
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