Cautious Optimism: Calculating the Actual Value of a Global Health Game Changer

Friday, July 10, 2015

We all know that vaccines have had huge success in protecting children from deadly diseases. However, the health benefits of vaccines have not been shared equally across the globe.

The need to keep vaccines cold in the face of high ambient temperatures and unreliable access to electricity is a challenge that limits vaccine coverage in low- and middle-income countries. The development of vaccines that are fully thermostable could increase vaccine coverage in low- and middle-income countries by enabling the stocking of vaccines at health posts that don’t have cold chain equipment, and by making outreach easier.

Fully thermostable vaccines could also increase vaccine efficacy by lowering the chance of administering vaccines impaired by heat or freeze exposure. Further, total system costs could be lowered by decreasing the cold chain footprint, vaccine wastage and vaccine delivery supply chain requirements.

As a result, the development of vaccines with greater thermostability has been thought of as a no-brainer. During the past few years, the global health community has energetically invested in improving vaccine thermostability.

Despite this, no vaccine products have been commercialized as a result.

In order to define the real value of increasing vaccine thermostability, we recently performed a study to analyze the facts.

In our study, we analyzed thermostability in the cases of specific vaccine use — such as in routine immunization or vaccine delivery campaigns — as well as in the broader context of cold chain technology and supply chain system design.

Source: Devex (link opens in a new window)

Health Care