Group of children holding a vaccination record.

Market forces alone are not always enough to drive the development of much-needed vaccines

Because of vaccines, small pox is now eradicated globally, polio is nearly so, and, in countries where kids regularly get their shots, we don’t worry too much about diphtheria, measles, pertussis, and rubella.

Vaccination may be the most effective public health intervention of all time—and that’s especially true in developing countries, where many families can’t find or afford health care when they get sick. The prevention offered by vaccines can be lifesaving.

But there are still many diseases for which vaccines are not available, and market forces alone are not always strong enough to drive the development of vaccines—especially for diseases that mainly affect poor countries. That’s why PATH engages the private sector and enlists them in our cause by providing resources, know-how, and experience working in developing-country communities. Together, we’re finding vaccines for diseases that have devastated families and kept communities from thriving for far too long.

Photo: Julie Jacobson.

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