Vaccinating children around the world against infectious diseases has saved the lives of millions over the past several decades. Now new opportunities exist to overcome remaining challenges—and save another 6.4 million lives over the current decade, according articles in the June 2011 edition of Health Affairs. The issue was produced under the journal’s grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Last year, the Gates Foundation committed an additional $10 billion over the current decade to make life-saving vaccines available to millions of children. Health Affairs’ June issue explores the strategies that will be necessary to achieve that goal—from investing in new science and building creative models of vaccine development and financing to improving the ―supply chains that distribute vaccines from manufacturers to the most remote clinics.
There are a ton of good pieces in there; one of my favorites is titled “Confidence About Vaccines In The United States: Understanding Parents’ Perceptions.” It’s among the most clear-eyed and realistic examinations of the issue I’ve ever read.
The journal started a briefing on the issue this morning at 8am. The entire thing is being webcast, and at 10:45 there’s what should be an especially interesting discussion about how local vaccine strategies can (and in some cases should) be altered to help minimize infections during pandemics.
I wasn’t able to contribute a piece to the journal, but I’ll be speaking at 12:30 along with the CDC’s Glen Nowak, who is one of the authors of the aforementioned parental perception piece.