The Gavi Vaccine Alliance has announced that it will support a WHO-coordinated pilot programme for the malaria vaccine RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S). “This decision by the Gavi Board truly responds to countries' demands” says Dr Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General at WHO and vice-chair of the Gavi board. “We trust that others will be forthcoming so we can take full advantage of this chance to improve malaria control and reduce child mortality in Africa.”
The WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) found that one fifth of the regular dose of yellow fever vaccine could be used to control an outbreak in case of vaccine shortages. In the current yellow fever outbreak, almost 18 million doses of yellow fever vaccine have been distributed in emergency vaccination campaigns in Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda.
A special issue of the journal Vaccine, guest-edited by WHO and published today, focuses on the research and development pipeline of vaccines against 25 pathogens for which no licensed vaccines currently exists but for which there is high public health importance, as identified by the WHO Product Development for Vaccines Advisory Committee (PDVAC).
Twenty five speakers took the floor during the Global Vaccine Action Plan discussion at the World Health Assembly. The global vaccination targets remain off-track with gaps in immunization coverage and slow progress in the elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus, measles and rubella.
Delegates noted that when countries and partners establish and enforce clear accountability systems, measure results and take corrective actions when results are not achieved, gaps in immunization can be closed.