© Sanofi Pasteur
Collaboration is Key
The R&D-based vaccine industry is a committed partner of the global immunization community, working to ensure that the poorest countries of the world have access to high-quality, safe, and effective vaccines through sustainable programs. Vaccine manufacturers actively collaborate with global organizations, governments, NGOs, and private foundations to develop these solutions and improve public health. No single organization can do it alone.
As an expression of its commitment to ensuring access to health care in the poorest countries, the R&D-based vaccine industry became a founding partner of the GAVI Alliance – a global partnership launched in 2000. The GAVI Alliance is a prime example of a unique, multi-dimensional partnership of public and private resources with a single, shared focus: to improve child health in the poorest countries by extending the reach and quality of immunization coverage within strengthened health services. Its members include UN agencies and institutions (WHO, UNICEF, and the World Bank), civil society organizations, public health institutes, donor and implementing country governments, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the vaccine industry. GAVI serves as a centralized source for receiving funds from the partners and allocating these funds to multiple recipients. The industry plays a fundamental role in this partnership by providing high quality vaccines at highly discounted prices. As a result, the GAVI Alliance is accelerating access to lifesaving vaccines for the poorest countries, and encouraging investment in new vaccines.
The R&D-based vaccine industry’s commitments to GAVI include:
1. Supplying high quality vaccines to the poorest populations
2. Investing in the development and supply of new breakthrough vaccines on a worldwide basis
3. Contributing to the education of immunization providers in GAVI-eligible countries
4. Developing technologies to facilitate the distribution and administration of vaccines
5. Working to engage other private sector organizations in the mission of GAVI
In addition to the GAVI Alliance, industry participates in other public-private partnerships that are expending considerable efforts to accelerate vaccine research and development and improve access. Examples include the Merck & Nicaraguan Ministry of Health RotaTeq Partnership, the Malaria Vaccine Initiative, and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI).
IFPMA Industry Supports Immunization in Developing Countries
Through their own programs as well as partnerships with other entities, R&D-based vaccine manufacturers provide in-kind donations, technical support, training, disease surveillance, and capacity-building to strengthen the health care immunization infrastructure of developing world countries. These efforts help create an environment for people to receive vaccines safely and efficiently.
For example, sanofi pasteur has been supporting the Agence de Médecine Préventive (AMP) since 2001 to train doctors in epidemiology, applied computing, vaccinology, and health management in Mauritania, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Cameroon. Merck and GlaxoSmithKline are partnering with PATH to address the social and infrastructure-related issues surrounding vaccination against cervical cancer in India, Peru, Uganda, and Vietnam. Merck Vaccine Network-Africa (MVN-A) training centers in Kenya, Mali, Uganda, and Zambia provide health professionals with hands-on training in vaccine management and immunization services. Novartis is offering a two-year Masters Program in Vaccinology and Pharmaceutical Clinical Development with the University of Siena, Italy. These are just a few of the many philanthropic programs that vaccine manufacturers are supporting to ensure that immunization programs are wide-reaching and effective.
In addition, several vaccine manufacturers have engaged in joint ventures and other forms of partnership that strengthen and support emerging-country vaccine manufacturers. These relationships frequently involve the sharing of valuable technology. While this process of technology transfer is complicated due to the complex nature of vaccine development and manufacture, it is invaluable to accelerating the availability of life-saving vaccines and giving developing countries the same tools that benefit the industrialized world.