This week National Geographic highlighted why vaccines are so crucial, and the spotlight fell on two major success stories for vaccination: global measles deaths fell below 100,000 for the first time. On World Polio Day, Bill Gates was optimistic that the world would see its last polio case by the end of the year, and the film ‘Breathe’ offered a timely reminder of the devastating impact of polio before we were able to vaccinate against it.
Meanwhile Seth Berkley, the CEO of Gavi, warned that immunisation rates need to improve if we are to eradicate measles. The Lancet echoed this sentiment in highlighting the fall in vaccination rates in developed countries,
The potential of vaccines to tackle a rising global health challenge, antimicrobial resistance, was also emphasised this week. The World Health Organisation’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts recommended a new typhoid vaccine, which could prove crucial in controlling antibiotic-resistant typhoid, and a new pneumonia vaccine could provide the most comprehensive coverage to date.