Expanding access to children’s vaccines in Asia

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is virtually unheard of in the Western world, but the disease kills or disables thousands of people in poor rural communities in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific each year. PATH is helping JE-endemic countries understand the disease and introduce an affordable, lifesaving vaccine to protect against it. We have partnered with Chengdu Institute of Biological Products in China to increase access to a long-successful vaccine already in use in China at an affordable price for developing countries. Countries that previously couldn’t afford JE immunization programs will now be able to consider introducing the vaccine.

In 2008, PATH and the Chengdu Institute advanced construction of a new manufacturing facility to meet the growing regional need for a JE vaccine produced to international quality standards. The institute exported more than 31 million doses of the vaccine over the course of the year.

PATH also provided technical assistance to countries that already have or will soon launch JE vaccination programs. In Cambodia, PATH supported the government in its plans to bring critical protection to thousands of children, preparing for vaccine introduction in 2009. In Vietnam, where children in high-risk areas have been vaccinated for more than ten years, PATH helped the government establish a surveillance model to track the disease and prepare for expanding immunization to the entire country.


Angkor Hospital for Children, Cambodia

Chengdu Institute of Biological Products

Ministries of health in Cambodia and Vietnam


United Nations Children’s Fund

The University of Melbourne

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization

Photo: Heng Chivoan.

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Mother and infant in Cambodia
In Asia, PATH is increasing countries’ capacity to assess their need for Japanese encephalitis vaccine and, in high-risk areas, introduce a vaccine that has long been used in China.

This project received innovation funding at a critical point in its development.