Delivered by Cyntia Genolet, Manager, Regulatory and Health Policy
30th August, Victoria Falls, Republic of Zimbabwe – IFPMA commends the EYE strategy, which brings renewed vision and energy to controlling yellow fever across the world by reducing the risk posed by an urban foothold of the disease. We were glad to be a part of the discussion and development of EYE with WHO and the Gavi Alliance (Gavi) through our member company. Endorsement by the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization and financing by Gavi sends a strong signal encouraging countries to move forward and implement the strategy.
Uniquely, a single dose of yellow fever vaccine proffers lifelong protection, and is supplied to UNICEF at a very low price. So, although we cannot eliminate this disease, we clearly have the tools to control it.
We are committed to providing a reliable supply of high quality, effective vaccines to meet the anticipated demand. Manufacturers plan to be able to supply significantly increased yellow fever vaccine volumes through to 2026. In the case of IFPMA, this is thanks to private investment one of our members has made in constructing, validating and bringing on-line a new manufacturing facility.
Responding to the yellow fever outbreaks in 2016 and 2017 was a significant challenge for all of us. Specifically from a vaccine manufacturing perspective, the unpredictability of the surge in demand is one of the most difficult areas to manage. As we all know, quality-compliant vaccines take many months to manufacture and control – and there are no short cuts to making safe vaccines. Accurate demand forecasting by countries to ensure sufficient supply is a key component to success.
These latest outbreaks demonstrated that we must do better as a partnership to ensure strong uptake of yellow fever vaccine as part of the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) as well as implementing successful catch up programs, thus greatly reducing the risk of outbreaks.