Bringing science and development together through news and analysis

  • Affordable pandemic influenza vaccines for all

The World Health Organization must ensure equal access to affordable vaccines for developing countries in the event of a global influenza pandemic, according to an editorial in The Lancet.

Current manufacturing capacity can only produce 500 million doses of pandemic vaccine — nowhere near the 6.2 billion doses that will be needed to protect the global population, says the editorial.

It argues that, in a pandemic, industrialised countries will have access to the limited supply of vaccines while the developing world will be caught short.

Indonesia's decision to provide a US pharmaceutical company with H5N1 virus samples in exchange for technology to manufacture a vaccine goes against the current World Health Organization's virus-sharing system. But if it helps guarantee an affordable vaccine for the country, the decision is understandable, says the editorial.

The controversy may also force the world to address the inequity between developed and developing countries in vaccine availability and accessibility.

Link to full article in The Lancet*

*Free registration is required to view this article

Republish
We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.