Toward a world where no one dies for want of a vaccine

March 14, 2016 by Dr. David Kaslow

Our Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access means faster, effective development, and delivery of vaccines.

A group of health care workers prep vaccines for the JE campaign.

Health workers prepare to deliver vaccines for a vaccination campaign. Photo: PATH/Aaron Joel Santos.

As a scientist always looking first for hard evidence, statements such as the title above make me a bit uneasy and think…

“It goes way beyond the data.”

As a physician always on the lookout for the best possible care for patients, however, the same statement challenges me to think…

“It’s what the world needs—it’s the vision to which we must aspire.”

This vision is what spurred PATH to establish our Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access (CVIA), to accelerate the creation and introduction of lifesaving vaccines for communities that need them most and particularly for women and children.

Young woman smiles as she recieves a shot in her upper arm from a health worker.

Our best solutions are often in response to answering a call for help. After a devastating meningitis A epidemic caused over 250,000 cases of meningitis and 25,000 deaths, we responded, in record time, to African leaders who called for an affordable vacci

Bringing together a center for developing and introducing vaccines and associated technologies recognizes the steadily increasing dimensions of our work on vaccines and immunization—from working with academic researchers to identify the part of a pathogen that might make the best next target for a vaccine, to collaborating with manufacturers to accelerate development timelines and make vaccines affordable, to managing complex clinical trials and securing regulatory approvals, to inventing new ways to transport and keep vaccines at safe temperatures in low-resource settings, to strengthening health systems to boost immunization rates, to meeting with health care workers to identify the best way to inform a parent about a particular vaccine. Indeed, PATH’s work in vaccines stretches from discovery to delivery.

CVIA ensures that we have the right talent and resources along the entire vaccine life cycle. It’s an incredible opportunity. It also brings additional responsibility. As more resources are entrusted to us, we must continuously improve, we must leverage our expertise across projects for even greater effectiveness, and we must deliver even greater global health impact.

Two medical workers hold a little girl's arm while another draws vaccine into a syringe from a vial at a table covered with vaccination supplies.

At PATH, the end-goal is not just about the vaccine product, it’s also about global accessibility, affordability, and the overall impact that comes from immunization. Photo: PATH/Vivien Tsu.

“Bringing our vaccine development and introduction immunization programs together helps ensure that we can respond nimbly and efficiently to take on new diseases and health challenges, achieving impact more quickly.”

One of the ways CVIA has greater global health impact is by giving our scientists and public health professionals the opportunity to work together on many vaccines across many disease areas—to learn across each and every project to the benefit of ongoing and future vaccine work. Our rich vaccine portfolio continues to attract many of the most talented leaders in the art and science of developing and delivering vaccines and associated technologies. With the CVIA in place, we are able to offer our exceptional people even more opportunities to use their skills and expertise—across diverse diseases and geographies—to improve the health and well-being of literally millions, if not billions, of people.

Another way we have global health impact is through greater agility and flexibility to respond to an ever-changing world, be it emerging data or emerging diseases. Recent infectious disease outbreaks have dramatically underscored the need for faster and more effective vaccine development and delivery. Threats that once went largely unnoticed in geographically isolated populations now quickly extend their reach to vulnerable communities the world over. Bringing our vaccine development and introduction immunization programs together helps ensure that we can respond nimbly and efficiently to take on new diseases and health challenges, achieving impact more quickly.

CVIA is designed to deliver on PATH’s mission to improve the health of people around the world—in this case with vaccines—so that we are all emboldened to envision a world where no one dies for want of a vaccine.

Watch this video on the remarkable global response to devastating meningitis A outbreaks in Africa through the rapid development of an affordable vaccine.

CVIA includes expertise on rotavirus vaccines, which have been introduced in more than 75 countries.

We currently have over 24 vaccines in development, including the RTS,S malaria vaccine candidate. Meet some of the people who made the Phase 3 trial possible.

Additional resources