This note has been cross-posted from the GAVI CSO forum with many thanks!
This week on occasion of the World Immunization Week, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has released a call for greater attention to the need for heat-stable vaccines to facilitate access to life saving vaccinations to the one in five children currently left out of global immunization efforts.
You can find more information on the call for heat-stable vaccines below, including information that explains the challenges that medical organisations like MSF and governments face in reaching all children in need. The requirement for vaccines to be kept constantly cold is proving a barrier in improving immunization coverage rates.
We are asking pharmaceutical companies, governments and philanthropic R&D funders to urgently take steps to increase the thermostability of existing vaccines, and develop new vaccines that are easier to use - with greater tolerance for heat - to reduce the logistical hurdles imposed by the ‘cold chain.’ Currently, the requirement to keep vaccines between 2°C and 8°C is a major obstacle for MSF and other partners delivering vaccination to the children who are disproportionately affected by vaccine-preventable diseases. Cold chain challenges could be eased if pharmaceutical companies generated and released more information on the true heat sensitivity of their vaccines. For example, this week, we are releasing the results of a new MSF study that shows a tetanus vaccine remains effective for up to a month when used outside of a strict cold chain
For more information, please read our new Issue Brief: Vaccinating Children beyond the 'Cold Chain', available at the link below and also available in French, attached:
Finally, we are also launching a new website where you can find information about MSF's vaccination work: http://www.msfaccess.org/bestshot
Do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further information or have any questions.
Thank you and kind regards,
Vaccines Policy Advisor
Médecins Sans Frontières | Access Campaign
333 7th Avenue, 2nd floor
New York, NY 10001
Tel: +1 212 763 5737
Cell: +1 917 213 5365