In lead up to next week’s UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Summit in New York, PATH is participating in two key meetings focused on strengthening vaccine delivery in developing countries. These sessions are especially important to global achievement of MDG Four, which seeks a two-thirds reduction in under-five child mortality by 2015.
At the 11th annual general meeting of the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN), September 13-16 in Hyderabad, India, Darin Zehrung, the portfolio lead for vaccine delivery technologies at PATH, will present opportunities for mutually beneficial collaboration with developing-country vaccine manufacturers. The goal is to advance novel vaccine technologies that can improve vaccine performance and delivery while addressing issues of cost and access for communities at the last mile of the vaccine cold chain.
Immediately following the general meeting, PATH’s Senior Technical Officer, Dexiang Chen, PhD, will join policymakers and technical experts at the International Vaccine Technology Workshop, September 17-18 in Hyderabad, India. Dr. Chen will present details of PATH’s new work in vaccine stabilization that is supported by the Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Under the BARDA contract, PATH and partners will work to develop stable formulations of both live and sub-unit influenza vaccines. The purpose of the project is to extend the shelf life of pandemic influenza vaccines to facilitate vaccine stockpiling and the rapid deployment of fully potent vaccines at an outbreak’s point of origin, often situated beyond the margins of the vaccine cold chain.
Hosted by WHO and the US DHHS, the International Technology Workshop brings together policymakers and technical experts to identify needs and gaps in vaccine development and manufacturing capacity, generate ideas for leveraging existing resources, and delineate potential policy options for the short, medium, and long term. The workshop will also serve to inform WHO’s Global Pandemic Influenza Action Plan to Increase Vaccine Supply.
Developing and advancing innovative technologies to improve vaccine effectiveness, efficiency, safety, and storage are a critical part of PATH’s work in global health. Our efforts are grounded in the belief that investment in immunization is an investment in children’s health. When protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, children are better able to grow and thrive.