WHO Seeks New Mechanism for Crisis Vaccine Supplies At Low Cost

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The World Health Organization, drugmakers and humanitarian groups are hammering out details of a new vaccine supply system aimed at getting vital shots to vulnerable people in crises such as wars or natural disasters.

The mechanism, which so far has British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline signed up to provide its pneumonia vaccine at the lowest possible price, will ask other major pharmaceutical firms including Pfizer and Merck to make similar cut-price agreements for emergencies only.

“The idea is that this will set a model in place for other manufacturers to put their vaccines on the table,” said Greg Elder, a medical coordinator with the international charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) which joined talks on the issue at the WHO’s Geneva headquarters last week.

A spokesman for the WHO said the humanitarian vaccine mechanism – which would only be used in crisis situations – could mean reaching millions of vulnerable people with protective shots against potential killers such as measles, yellow fever and pneumonia.

Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)

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