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Vaccine experts recommend practical actions to support vaccine innovation and access around the world

18 APRIL 2013,

  • Peer-reviewed article in Vaccine addresses the 4As of vaccine access - availability, affordability, adoption and alliances
  • Paper's recommendations offer insights on how to achieve the Decade of Vaccine's goal of 90% global vaccine coverage by 2020.
  • Increased vaccine awareness, predictable demand, and sustainable financing among 26 expert recommendations to support vaccine access and innovation

A newly-published paper on vaccines provides a set of pragmatic actions  to  improve  global  access  to  and  use  of  high  quality,  safe  and  effective  vaccines. Published  in  Vaccine,  the  peer-reviewed  paper,  ‘Delivering  the  promise  of  the  Decade  of Vaccines:  opportunities  and  challenges  in  the  development  of  high  quality  new  vaccines,’
was  authored  by  vaccine  experts  with  support  from  the  International  Federation  of Pharmaceutical  Manufacturers  &  Associations  (IFPMA)  and  the  Biotechnology  Industry Organization (BIO). 
 
Launched  in  2010,  the  Decade  of  Vaccines  (DoV)  Initiative  assembles  key  global  health stakeholders  in  an  effort  to  reduce  vaccine-preventable  illnesses  by  achieving  90  percent global  vaccine  coverage  by  2020.    The  paper  provides  the  perspectives  of  the  research-based vaccine industry on how to advance the DoV’s objectives and support vaccine uptake by addressing availability, affordability, adoption and alliances.
 
Over the last 30 years, vaccine development has accelerated due to scientific breakthroughs in biotechnology, genetic decoding and information technology. The result is a broad range of new vaccines targeting 25 infectious disease categories. Today, vaccines are helping to combat major  life-threatening  diseases  --  including  cervical  cancer,  which  affects  500,000 women each year, and pneumococcal disease, responsible for 1.6 million deaths each year. 


Despite important health advances associated with vaccine innovation, barriers to equitable and  sustained  global  access  remain.  As  the  global  community  strives  to  address  those barriers,  the  authors  warn  against  interventions  that  fail  to  reconcile  the  needs  of  both access and innovation.   
 
According  to  the  authors,  accelerating  vaccine  access  and  innovation,  especially  in  the developing  world,  requires  a  mix  of  “push  and  pull”  mechanisms.  Examples  of  “push” mechanisms  that  stimulate  R&D  are  grants  and  investment  tax  credits,  while  “pull” mechanisms can include donor guarantees of vaccine purchases and government programs to promote vaccine uptake through increased awareness of vaccines' health benefits.        
“Global  health  stakeholders  share  responsibility  for  achieving  the  goals  of  the  Decade  of Vaccines,"  says  Eduardo  Pisani,  IFPMA  Director  General.  “This  report  applies  industry learnings  and  expertise  that  contributed  to  several  past  health  successes  such  as dramatically  reduced  measles-related  deaths  and  eradication  of  smallpox.  With  greater public  awareness  and  access  to  innovative  vaccines,  great  strides  can  be  made  toward preventing other leading communicable and non-communicable diseases.” 
 
“These innovative approaches to achieving equitable and sustained global access to high quality, safe and effective vaccines can potentially save millions of lives, dramatically enhance economic productivity, and reduce under-five mortality,” said Jim Greenwood, BIO’s President and CEO. 
 
The paper, 'Delivering the promise of the Decade of Vaccines: opportunities and challenges in the development of high quality new vaccines,’ can be viewed at: Vaccine report. Also IFPMA and BIO developed two infographics - Vaccine R&D and  Innovative Vaccines Companies and the Decade of Vaccines - as useful resources.