In the week that WIPO hosted discussions on vaccine innovation and access, there were multiple calls for greater investment in both of these areas.
Experts urged that “the vaccine process needs to be accelerated” for group B streptococcus, which is responsible for more than 100,000 stillbirths and baby deaths worldwide. In an op-ed in The Hill, Mark Dybul appealed for greater American investment in global R&D.
There was also a focus on making the best of the vaccines we already have. In anticipation of World Pneumonia Day, a Lancet paper on pneumonia called for increasing access to vaccines to reduce pneumonia deaths. On the day itself, Gavi revealed that the pneumococcal vaccine had saved 500,000 lives over the past decade, but with still greater potential.
Research found that increasing coverage with the HPV vaccine could have the added benefit of reducing cases of a chronic childhood respiratory disease, and STAT highlighted the idea of repurposing existing vaccines to speed up the response to public health crises.
Ahead of World Antibiotic Awareness Week, the World Health Organization recommended that farmers stop using antibiotics on healthy livestock to preserve medically-important antibiotics. They have previously highlighted the role vaccines play in stalling the spread of drug resistance.