Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review has expanded its coverage of new reports, books, research and analysis published independent of the journal channel covered in Journal Watch below. Our interests span immunization and vaccines, as well as global public health, health governance, and associated themes. If you would like to suggest content to be included in this service, please contact David Curry at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Full Report: Money and Microbes: Strengthening Research Capacity to Prevent Epidemics
The International Vaccines Task Force (IVTF)
Supported by the International Vaccines Task Force was supported by the World Bank Group and the [CEPI] Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
World Bank – Working Paper 2018/05/01:: 75 pages
In the last 5 years alone, the world has been tested with serious challenges from two viral diseases. The Ebola outbreak that unfolded between 2014 and 2016 devastated West Africa, and while its health and economic impacts beyond the continent were limited, it sent a loud message to the rest of the world about how vulnerable it was to the next epidemic. This was followed by the Zika Virus outbreak that began in early 2016, which also remained confined largely to Latin America, and served to remind the rest of the world that there was no room for complacency. Further warnings were not needed—but they nevertheless came in quick succession. In May 2017, the Democratic Republic of the Congo notified international public health agencies of a cluster of suspected cases of Ebola virus disease in the Likati health zone of the province of Bas Uélé. In October 2017, Madagascar reported an outbreak of the deadliest form of plague, pneumonic, which had hit its major cities and towns and was spreading fast. Around the same time, a Marburg virus disease outbreak was detected in the Kween district of eastern Uganda. And a few months later, Nigeria begun experiencing what would turn out to be its worst Lassa fever outbreak ever, recording more cases in January 2018 alone than during all of 2017.
Strong Clinical Research Capacity in At-Risk Countries Key to Global Epidemic Prevention
New report outlines urgent need and opportunities in low- and middle-income countries where disease outbreaks most often strike
GENEVA, May 22, 2018 – Robust clinical research capacity in low- and middle-income countries is key to stemming the spread of epidemics, according to a new report from the International Vaccines Task Force (IVTF). The report, entitled Money and Microbes: Strengthening Research Capacity to Prevent Epidemics, lays out how to develop the political support, financing and coordination required to build this capacity as a crucial component of global epidemic preparedness. The IVTF was convened by the World Bank Group (WBG) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) in October 2017.
There have been many global and country-level efforts to strengthen pandemic preparedness and response since the deadly West African Ebola outbreak in 2014-2015 that killed 11,000 people—and the last few weeks have provided evidence of this. During the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with 49 total cases and 26 deaths so far, the government of DRC has approved the use for trials starting this week of a new, as-yet unlicensed Ebola vaccine, the rVSV-ZEBOV. The vaccine has proven highly effective in a clinical trial conducted in Guinea in 2015. Nigeria had its worst Lassa Fever outbreak on record earlier this year, and also pushed forward with conducting clinical trials as the outbreak unfolded.
“Times of crisis present the opportunity to focus capabilities and energy on solving important problems,” said Marie-Paule Kieny, Director of Research at INSERM and co-chair of IVTF. “Robust clinical research capacity is the only way to ensure that we don’t face future outbreaks with the same knowledge gaps over and over again.”
Of the 96 countries that have conducted vaccine trials in the past 20 years, 56 have conducted only between 1 and 10 trials, according to a registry maintained by the World Health Organization (WHO). This is insufficient to advance promising new vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics for epidemic infectious diseases at the scale that is needed. The report recommends building capacity at a national or regional level that can flexibly scale up to run clinical trials during outbreaks, and focus on ongoing high-priority disease research based on local needs in between outbreaks…