A new special report commissioned and published by PATH concludes that delivering yellow fever vaccine at a reduced dose through a method referred to as dose-sparing could be a pragmatic and low-risk strategy for maximizing the availability of yellow fever vaccine.
The report, titled Yellow Fever Vaccination: The Potential of Dose-Sparing to Increase Vaccine Supply and Availability, finds that dose-sparing could help make more vaccine available in times of need, especially in mass immunization campaigns where supply shortages negatively impact human health.
Each year, yellow fever affects more than 200,000 people, with about 30,000 dying of the infection. Although there is no cure, the infection can be prevented with one dose of live attenuated yellow fever vaccine. Only four manufacturers currently produce yellow fever vaccines that have received prequalification status from the World Health Organization (WHO), allowing for the purchase and use of the vaccine by United Nations agencies. This can result in insufficient vaccine supply to compensate for problems or disruptions in vaccine production or to meet spikes in demand when outbreaks occur.
As part of PATH’s ongoing efforts to explore innovative ways to improve vaccine delivery in low-resource settings, the new report investigates the potential benefits, obstacles, and costs of dose-sparing for yellow fever vaccine. It also assesses to what extent different delivery routes and novel delivery devices, such as needle-free jet injectors, could help facilitate the implementation of dose-reduction strategies.
Among the key findings: