The R&D agenda and how it addresses access to vaccines
In this guest post, Dr. Jayasree K. Iyer, Chief Scientific Officer at the Access to Medicine Foundation, writes about the findings from their newest study, which examines the current state of the vaccine pipeline and how large pharmaceutical companies are considering access to these products.
Vaccine manufacturers play a critical role in innovating new vaccines and making existing vaccines more suitable for use in developing countries. Apart from developing effective, appropriate vaccines, manufacturers work with relevant stakeholders to ensure that access to these vaccines is ramped up upon market introduction, addressing issues like supply and affordability. Vaccines are the cornerstone of disease prevention: mass immunization has led to the eradication of smallpox, and between 2000 and 2010, it helped cut the global childhood mortality rate in half. Yet many people cannot access full immunization, especially with newer vaccines. Recent attempts to boost immunization coverage (e.g., of the relatively new pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines) shows that immunization coverage and access can be increased when good vaccines, committed funding, and strong global partnerships come together.