Getting Vaccines to People Who Need Them Is the Most Important Issue in Global Health

Friday, July 3, 2015

Fear of vaccines has allowed a host of diseases, including measles and whooping cough, to re-surface around the world in recent years.

But, in my view, the key issue isn’t vaccine safety, it’s vaccine delivery—how we actually get vaccines to, and into, people in order to improve global health.

Indeed, even though vaccination (and the health benefits that result) have increased in most developed countries, and become more prevalent in some developing countries, vaccination coverage still varies widely for different racial and ethnic groups and educational levels, as well as for high-risk populations.

This disparity in coverage may, at some level, have to do with vaccine fears; but, for the most part, it’s a result of less-than-optimal vaccine delivery.

Shipping vaccines around the world

There are two basic issues here.

And the first one is transportation.

Let’s say, for instance, that an effective vaccine is developed in Europe, the United States or India for use in African villages. Right now, it’s extremely difficult to get that vaccine delivered to the people who need it in a stable and undamaged state.

We believe you can have the best vaccine in the world, but if it’s damaged during the delivery process, it does no good.

Source: Quartz (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
infectious diseases, transportation, vaccines