Preparing for Pandemic Vaccination: An International Policy Agenda for Vaccine Development
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- Fedson, D. J Public Health Pol (2005) 26: 4. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jphp.3200008
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The international use of influenza vaccine is growing, especially in developing countries. Since 1997, avian H5N1 influenza in Southeast Asia has caused several human infections and high mortality. Experts warn that the next influenza pandemic is imminent and could be severe. Prevention and control will depend on the rapid production and worldwide distribution of specific pandemic vaccines. If the vaccine supply is to be sufficient to meet global demand, issues related to the intellectual property rights for the reverse genetics technology essential for vaccine production must be resolved. In addition, candidate “pandemic-like” vaccines must be developed and tested in clinical trials to determine the most antigen sparing formulation and the best vaccination schedule. These studies must involve all vaccine companies and will require international coordination and public funding. Whether this international policy agenda for pandemic vaccine development will succeed is uncertain, but it will provide a good indication of whether “good governance” for global public health can be achieved.